Suddenly it is everywhere, this good news to the poor. Blessed are the poor for their’s is the kingdom of heaven. This is not a matter of financial or material wealth only. I Corinthians 1 tells us of the weakness and foolishness of God. The poor, the weak, the broken, the lost, the sick–the Gospel is for them not the well. God chose the weak to shame the strong. “Christ the power of God…the weakness of God [that] is stronger than men” (I Cor. 1:24-25).
The weakness of God? The cross is a stumbling block…to the Jew…to us. We stumble in this instance..we are the strong, the healthy, the rich. “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone;” (John 8:33). We have never been enslaved to the Egyptians, the Medes and Persians, the Greeks, the Romans. We are not enslaved (no, not even when Roman soldiers are stationed in the Holy City). We are strong. We are not slaves to our passions, our wealth, our selves. “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, `You will become free’?”
Just this week I saw it in the news…a present parable, a living lesson…how much we revere strength and how strength keeps us from God. I’ll risk political incorrectness to make the point.
Stephen Hawking told us that while science cannot disprove God, it makes God unnecessary. Of course we don’t wish to speak ill of Mr. Hawking. He is the smartest man in the world after all. And look how strong, how brave, to face such a horrid disease without the help of a higher power.
Then I think of a weak old woman, the mother of my friend, who suffered for an extended period from a disease that cut her off from the world. She lived life just short of a comatose state. She knew what was going on around her, but she could not express herself. She felt great pain and could tell no one–for years. Later, in answer to many prayers, she recovered somewhat to tell how she could never have made it apart from God. During that time of suffering He had been closer to her and dearer to her than ever before. How weak; how unimpressive. God is such a crutch to those too weak to face pain and death as Mr. Hawking tells us.
We prefer to make heroes of those like Stephen Hawking. He needs no God because he is strong. Look what he has accomplished..all on his own. He needs no crutch…except that amazing piece of technology that can read eye twitches and make him speak. Science has made God unnecessary.