Lenten Devotional – Fri, Mar 5: INHERIT

Inheritance is another form of God’s welcome. It utters a proclamation of belonging. We are fully acknowledged. The blessing of this Beatitude becomes one of responsibility.

In essence, our attitude causes us to become stewards of God’s creation, which includes the planet and cosmos, and all the beings and ecosystems within it. We are given the earth

Isn’t it fascinating that gentleness and self-discipline — wherein we remain humble and kind, even when we respond to a cause that requires our participation, support, and nonviolent advocacy — becomes the way in which we are offered the wholeness of creation? John Stott writes about this startling over-turning of our expectations. He says, “One would think that the meek get nowhere because everybody ignores them or rides roughshod over them and tramples them underfoot. Isn’t it the tough, the overbearing who succeed in the struggle for existence? … but the condition on which we enter our spiritual inheritance in Christ is not might but meekness, for everything is ours if we are Christ’s.”

This echoes the idea that the ‘poor in spirit’ or the dispossessed are those who actually become the ones claimed by heaven. Eknath Easwaran wrote, “To live simply is to live gently, keeping in mind always the needs of the planet, other creatures, and the generations to come. In doing this we lose nothing, because the interests of the whole naturally include our own. . . . In claiming nothing for [ourselves, we] have everything, for everything is [ours] to enjoy as part of the whole.” Although the term ‘meek’ sounds, to our modern ears, as if this group of people are powerless and disenfranchised, they are actually those who have experienced a deep sense of accountability and connection.  

The meek also seem to have a generational view of how to care for themselves, each other, and the earth. They aren’t scrambling for immediate rewards and riches. They are looking at the longterm impact and consequences of how humans interact and live together and care for the planet. —  Rev Gail

We have not inherited this earth from our parents to do with it what we will. We have borrowed it from our children and we must be careful to use it in their interests as well as our own. — Henry Moses Cass 

[In] Jesus’ day … Nobody possessed land except by violence, by oppression, by holding onto it and making all the peasants pay a portion of their harvest. Jesus is turning that around and saying no, it’s you little ones who are finally going to possess the land. I can hear implicit critique in his voice, but also hope. — Richard Rohr

I have also seen children successfully surmounting the effects of an evil inheritance. That is due to purity being an inherent attribute of the soul. — Mahatma Gandhi

We are all gifted. That is our inheritance. — Ethel Waters

Say not you know another entirely till you have divided an inheritance with him. — Johann Kaspar Lavater

Challenge or Question: For what do you feel responsible here on earth? Beyond yourself and family, what tugs at your heart and mind? How does being concerned for, and feeling responsible over, part of the earth then give you a sense of belonging?

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