When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
A fervent and frequent prayer in the early church was the Aramaic word, “Maranatha.” It means, “Our Lord Comes!” It is said that early Christians even used this as a greeting for one another. Can you imagine? Instead of “How are you?” as we see each other, we’d say “Our Lord Comes!” It reminds me of the bumper sticker that used to go around: “Jesus is coming, look busy!” I’m not sure that I’m ready.
Are we sure we want Jesus to come again? Are we really ready for him? You know, Jesus doesn’t come as an endorsement of the way things are. He comes as the messenger who overturns every sanctimonious thought we’ve ever had, then puts our lives back together again in a totally different order than they were before.
And here’s the order: Blessed are the poor, blessed are the mourners, blessed are the hungry, blessed are the merciful, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the persecuted. His order is the way of peace, of shalom.
Only people truly yearning for the healing of the world can really pray for such a radical reordering. Only those really burdened by the brokenness of our lives as they are could ask God for such a thing. Only those really ready for everything to change.
So if you think you might be ready, go ahead and pray it: Come quickly, Lord Jesus! Maranatha!