INTRO: What does it mean to be blessed? What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Why would the poor be happy? What did Jesus mean by this? Does he mean poor financially, poor in health, poorly educated? And why is the kingdom of heaven theirs? This poem is based on the first of The Beatitudes of Matthew 5:1-12, verse three “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
When I lived in the city centre, the poor people I saw on the streets did not look happy. I see plenty of middle-class people travelling on the bus and train that also don’t look happy. The happiest looking people that I see the most frequently are middle class or wealthy looking actors on TV and in social media advertisements.
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According to the 2021 World Happiness Report, the citizens of Finland ranked #1 in their perception of happiness. The factors that rank happiness were social support of family, health, life choices, absence of corruption in high places and generosity to name a few.
During the three years of Jesus’ ministry, he healed thousands of people, blind, lame, lepers, me, deaf, epileptic… He even raised people from the dead. The Bible records many people who were happy because Jesus healed them, a family member, or a friend. How is this beatitude relevant in 2022?
As Jesus taught throughout the day
Inside, outside, as they walked, as they sailed
He sat to teach the Beatitude blessings
To His disciples and those who chose to be with Him.
Happiness is often a delusion
Chasing a shadow that keeps moving
Walking in darkness, searching for light
To break through the cracks in the tunnel of life.
God’s true happiness, is not achieved
By living in material poverty
Or living in pious poverty
Nor is it received through what we achieve.
We cannot achieve God’s happiness
By putting our trust in material wealth
Desiring wealth above all else
Which is here today and gone tomorrow.
God’s happiness grows from a bankrupt spirit
For great men and women of the Bible
Committed great crimes until God broke their pride
He used them through their brokenness.
The physically poor, through turmoil and war
Need food, clothing, a permanent home,
They see God’s love through people who care
And share His gospel of mercy and grace.
Believers belong to the kingdom of God
For Jesus is the King of all kings
In spirit, believers are wealthy and rich
Adopted heirs into God’s family.
God’s kingdom is ruled by a righteous king
Who rules in, justice, truth, and peace?
Citizens will honour and obey Him
Happy to live under their wise Holy King.
Beverley Joy © 2021 Simply Story Poetry. All Rights Reserved.
You may also enjoy my poems in this series: The Beatitudes of Jesus – An Introduction, Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit?, Blessed Are Those Who Mourn? Blessed Are The Meek? Blessed are Those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness? Blessed are the Merciful? Blessed are the Pure?
You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here
Bible References: Gen 32:10-11, Luke 18.10-14, Prov 16.5, Is 66.2, Is 57.15, Rev 21:1-5