I listened to a sermon by Rob Bell today on my commute about one of the Beatitudes – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
Now, all my Christian life, every time I ever heard anyone preach on this, it was about making sure our lives were all about going after Jesus, becoming more Christ-like, etc – all about working toward being more holy or sinless or whatever.
Rob’s contention, and I agree, was that this was not a prescription for your life’s work, but an announcement about something that already IS. And, we have to watch how we define righteousness.
This is about righteousness in the sense of putting the world back to rights, seeing justice done, seeing mercy win, and seeing everything in its right place again. And the ones who are disturbed by the fact that it isn’t, who are hungering and thirsting to see God’s shalom brought about on the earth, are the ones with whom God hangs out - right there in the middle of the longing.
In other words, the blessing isn’t for the ones who have it all together – it’s for those of us who haven’t worked it all out, who are looking toward the day when everything is once again made whole – including us.
Good news, huh?