the couch / water tension

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

It’s a rainy day here in Guelph, and I have spent the afternoon sitting in the back sun room with a fire burning in the wood stove reading the new Donald Miller book and listening to a Rob Bell sermon. Throw in a cup of tea, and it’s been pretty great.

Rob Bell spoke about how the verse quoted above is not meant to promote a view of the gospel that encourages moral uprightness, nor is it mean to deliver a message that everything will be OK once once has it all figured out.

He told a story of a couple who was wrestling with a very real tension that Christians face in terms of how to live in this world. He described them as having come to him and talking about buying a new couch, wondering how they could justify doing so when the money required for such a purchase could be used elsewhere to meet tangible needs ie: to provide water for those who cannot access it.

The point of this word from Jesus is not that God will bless those who make the right decisions, who unequivocally always do that which is righteous and good. Rather, Jesus promises that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled; in other words, Jesus promises that God is present in the midst of the tension.

The gospel message of Jesus is for those who don’t have it all figured out, who sense that a different way of living in this world is possible but can’t yet put their finger on what it should look like. God does not meet us at the end point after we have done that which has earned us a blessing from Him; rather, He is with us every step of the way, in the midst of the daily realities of life.

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