Friday, November 5, 2010

Oh how blessed am I? Or am I?

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs shall be the kingdom of God." Matthew 5:3

I drove up to Salisbury Street in St.Louis freshly starting Seminary eager to start real ministry. My assignment was to Bethlehem Lutheran in North City to be a field worker. I was expecting an inner city church with mainly older people and no connection to the community. However, I was entering a whole different ethnic world that had the most blessed, exciting, draining ministries I have ever been around.

I remember that first day, as I looked at the run down homes, vacant lots, and many wandering people with no direction, I said to myself, "How blessed are my friends who have a suburban church."

What this showed is an extreme arrogance and selfishness on my part. We make it sound like the rich folks in suburbia are blessed and therefore the city folk have NO blessings. During my three years at this wonderful congregation, I heard them talk about blessings 10x more than any other church, but they were focused on spiritual blessings, not only possessions. Ultimately, they reminded me that blessings are not caught up in possessions (those will be gone), but in having salvation in Christ. That is the blessing that last forever.

If you are ever in the St. Louis area, stop by Bethlehem Lutheran on Salisbury Street. The people are blessed like all of us who are poor in spirit, a bunch of sinners, and we join together as the blessed ones who have Christ.

Lord have mercy

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