James Houston in his book Joyful Exiles writes, “In many of his works, Kierkegaard interprets three stages of human consciousness. The Christian has to grow through and overcome these stages in order to appreciate the divine relationship. It is instinctual to be ‘aesthetic’–that is, to only live on the surface of things.
We need to die away from the aesthetic stage in which we habitually exhibit ourselves like Hollywood stars–showing off our bodies, our intelligence, our accomplishments and our passions for happiness and living impatiently in the quest for instant gratification. No wonder such worldly aesthetes have such fragile and brittle identities, fostered by narcissistic personalities in a narcissistic culture. The cure lies in our ongoing dying away to all these things, in learning the importance of a hidden way of life” (p.44). With this thought, consider what we learned as we looked to Mt 5:3-10 last week.
Consider how Christ calls his disciples to recognize their poverty, thirst, and need; how Christ calls you to turn to the inward parts of your soul. See how Christ calls you from the world ,which seeks to mold and define and determine your identity, to an inner realization, which identifies you as a creature in constant and complete need. Are you intimately aware of your weaknesses and poverty before God? Are you numb to such a question? Has your life of exhibitionism left you to believe that the kingdom of God (or rule of God) is a thought only to be agreed with and not a reality to be lived within?
Remember, EVERY MOMENT of your life is an opportunity to express yourself to the world, family, and to yourself. And it will be here that your identity exists, tossed back and forth, and eventually broken. Yet God calls us to deny all such things up to and including ourselves and to resist the temptation to make ourselves something we are not. Remember the Christian paradox, that to be in need is to have everything. For the Christian knows that his greatest need as a Being, is infinitely met in Christ. Christ is your life. He is the life you turn to, always. Hide yourself in the life he gives. We should not only agree with the rule of God. Instead we must get to the place were we delight to beg for it.
Blessed are those who thirst for righteousness…