Weal & Woe

“How can things be so upside down?”

The Psalms are full of cries from the faithful who suffer in and mourn over the overwhelming wickedness that surrounds them. Sin consistently turns the world upside down, and we, God’s faithful, want to see the world right side up. Jesus says to his disciples that if you are part of his people who loathe the upside-down-ness of the world, then you are blessed; that is, you are in a happy, favored position before God. This is what the Beatitudes are all about.

 

We live in some distressing times; times in which God’s faithful people are saddened, befuddled, and angry because of the way Western culture is racing toward its destruction. When we read or hear the news, many times we think, “How can things be so upside down?” When lawmakers of a state cheer a law that permits infanticide, we wonder, “What are they thinking?” When a church called “The United Churches of Christ” has a service of blessing for a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Milwaukee, WI, blessing abortions in the name of Christ, we are befuddled and angry that they are so upside down in representing Christ.[1] When it is pushed on us that we must accept that there are more than two sexes, male and female, and people are promoting this as the new normal, we think, “How could thinking be so backward?” When Christian denominations start to warm up to the idea that sexually perverse lifestyles are just another valid expression of “love,” we wonder, “What is going on?” Even more conservative Christian denominations are becoming more comfortable with monikers such as “gay Christian.” Not only are people believing and acting this way, but they seem to be prospering.

Those of us who oppose such things are seen as backward, unloving, and behind the times. The world is upside down to us. We don’t fit in. We mourn the developments and wonder in prayer, “How long, O Lord, before you vindicate your truth?”

This is not a new situation for God’s people. The Psalms are full of cries from the faithful who suffer in and mourn over the overwhelming wickedness that surrounds them. Sin consistently turns the world upside down, and we, God’s faithful, want to see the world right side up.

Jesus says to his disciples that if you are part of his people who loathe the upside-down-ness of the world, then you are blessed; that is, you are in a happy, favored position before God. This is what the Beatitudes are all about.

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