The Upside-Down Kingdom

Matthew 5:3-12

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

During the Spring Semester of this past school year the focus of our chapel services was the Beatitudes from Matthew 5. Each week the staff and students took a deeper look into one or two verses. Speakers came each week and although the messages were different the overall theme remained the same, God has an upside-down kingdom. What? Think about it this way, the things that are important to this world are things like-money, fame, possessions, security, pride, and the list goes on and on with things that make our human nature jump with joy. We tend to see these things as the makings of “the good life” we want to support our lifestyle, and make a name for ourselves in this world. But according to Matthew 5 this mentality is the difference between the kingdom of Earth and the Kingdom of Heaven. As Jesus begins to teach the crowds he starts saying some things that must have seemed pretty ridiculous for those hearing them for the first time. I imagine some of the skeptics saying things like this:

“Really, blessed are those who mourn…those people are pathetic, feeling too much means you               are weak.”  commented one man.

“Yeah, and blessed are the meek, you will never get anything done that way, you act like a        doormat-people will treat you like one, am I right?” suggested another.

“Pure in heart? Come on, my name for those people are ‘tattle-tails'” said a boy in the crowd.

” No the worst of all, blessed are you when people insult you. Nobody disrespects me or my      family without consequences!” replied a woman.

You may even agree with these comments, they seem logical from a human perspective. The attitudes that Jesus is blessing are not attitudes that get a lot of positive recognition in our world today or in Jesus’ day, they are the total opposite! This is what I am talking about, Upside-down kingdom! Think about how you can be a part of this upside-down kingdom. It will require you to do things and make choices that, from a worldly standpoint, do not seem logical but from a heavenly standpoint seem like the only option.

At Riverside, we try to live as part of the Kingdom of Heaven. From a worldly standpoint, this school just does not make sense, a place where families pay little to no money to attend, a place that is fully funded on donation, a place where teachers give their time and talents for little pay. This just does not seem logical, but God is faithful! As long as Riverside continues as a part of God’s plan for this community He will provide a way for it to exist.

Be encouraged! God will provide a way, not matter how difficult, for you to live on earth as a member of his Upside-down Kingdom!