"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." The ministry of Jesus begins with words so completely unlike any other teacher, either religious or secular. His first sentence, like an axe, begins carving out a doorway for discipleship, the "narrow gate," as he would call it later in the Sermon. That gate will be shaped by approaches to power, heart attitudes, enemies, spiritual disciplines, money, anxiety and much more. This — heaven's constitution — counters all earthly cultures, and invites followers of Jesus into a way of life that only a minority will embrace and one that will put them at "loving odds" with the world. To use Bonhoeffer's words, it is THE appropriate response to the "costly grace" granted by God. For the next three months, the Sermon will challenge the GCC family to become true kingdom citizens in a world hostile to the King.