Be Like Mike
by Katie Borden
Did you ever see the Gatorade commercial in the early 90s featuring Michael Jordan dribbling the basketball all over the court, and the gym, and the playground, absolutely smoking everyone who matched against him? Remember the lyrics of the song? Remember what the text at the end of the commercial said? “Be like Mike.”
Essentially, the advertising company is hoping that we are led to believe that we will become “like Mike” if we drink Gatorade.
…Yeah. Like any of us are ever going to become like Michael Jordan just by drinking some flavored sports drink.
I think sometimes we consider the Beatitudes in today’s reading like we think about that statement. We will be righteous, we will inherit the kingdom, if we act this certain way, if we have these particular qualities. And that it’s an impossible standard, leaving us just disheartened, and not at all changed.
I think bringing that attitude to the Beatitudes might just be getting it backwards, and we truly miss out on the depth and beauty of these statements of Jesus.
In these beautiful statements of truth and blessing, Jesus is simultaneously declaring what is true, and what is at the same time still promised to become even more true.
The people who know our deep need for God’s grace are blessed, and we will receive his grace and life in abundance.
The people who yearn for God’s justice and righteousness to rule are blessed, and will indeed be filled with God’s justice and righteousness.
All of these things point to the future way of God’s kingdom, and the shalom that his people will experience. His rule and reign are coming, just as he promised. Jesus’ presence brought with it the kingdom of God—and Jesus’ appearing again will usher in the fullness of that kingdom.
So while we may not see all of this in full just yet, we can rejoice in the promise of this passage during the season of Advent. Come, Lord Jesus!
Consider focusing on the petition of the Lord's Prayer today, "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Ask the Lord to increase your awareness of how he is working even now to bring his kingdom in its fullness.