A Holy Hunger

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Matt 5:6)

I sometimes wonder what foreigners think of some of our food offerings in America. For example, I am guessing that just about every tricked up item that Taco Bell has come up with over the last decade would leave an outsider to our culture confused. I’m confused. Our tendency to stuff extra food into the crust of our pizza might seem unusual. Our habit of adding bacon to everything might seem odd, or genius, I don’t know. But perhaps nothing is as mind blowing as what is found at state fairs (deep fried butter, sugar cubes, or pig ears anyone?)

We humans have developed appetites for things that aren’t always healthy, and that is in no way limited to food and drink. How many people hunger for power, prestige, or prominence? How many are starving for attention, for fame, and recognition? How many crave things that God designed as good and beautiful like food, drink, sex, or material goods, but instead of receiving them rightly as gifts from God, our cravings become distorted and destructive.

The blessed life, Jesus says, is one that craves and consumes things that are right and just. We thirst and work for changed lives. Make righteousness your goal in life, and Jesus will fulfill it. That’s been his goal all along-to make you more like him.

But the blessed life is also a life that hungers for God’s justice. We long and pray for God to fix all that’s wrong, to mend all that’s broken, to heal all who are wounded, and lift up all who’ve been pushed down in our world. It means we never stop praying for God’s kingdom to come and God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. It also means that we get busy offering care and compassion. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness and justice, for they will be filled, and they will fill those around them with the overflow of God’s love.

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