Have you ever run into someone you know, but not in the place you’re used to seeing them—and then you don’t recognize them right away? Something like that happens when we hear Jesus telling us not to worry about food, clothing or shelter. Seems sort of tone deaf especially for those who have every reason to worry about starving.
If we put Jesus’ words back into their setting, the perspective changes! Jesus announces God’s favour to the forgotten, the left out, and the trod upon. Jesus confers God’s blessing upon those who feel depleted (poor in spirit), and to those who mourn not only for loved ones but for a world that seems to have lost its way. God blesses those who wage peace, who show mercy, and who seek right relationships. These blessings (or beatitudes) reflect a very different way of being than we’re used to. And…it’s the very sort of world Jesus invites us to seek. It’s also the sort of life Jesus says God would happily give us.