Advent Day 17 – Tuesday, December 12

“[God] has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; [God] has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.”
Luke 1:52–53

Our world worships power. Those who get attention tend to be those who exert some degree of power over others. Often, though, power becomes a corrupting force that destroys relationships and community.

Mary’s song sings of a reversal of the whole power dynamic present in our world. Her words signal a change in the status quo. The powerful are brought low and the lowly are lifted up. The hungry are filled and those who are over-full are empty. And all of this is because of the baby she was carrying within her. God had acted in a way that changed everything, and this was Good News.

How is a shake-up to the order of society good news? Change of such magnitude can often become chaotic. Is chaos good news?

It is when it restores justice. It is when oppression is eliminated. It is when abuse of power is overrun by a force for good.

In this day and age of great abuses of power by governments, law enforcement, corporate executives, and the like, how might we live as Advent people whose lives magnify the goodness and the justice of our God who comes to us not as a powerful ruler but as a baby born in the backwater town of Bethlehem? What changes in your life is God calling you to make so that your life’s pursuit is not that of power and prestige but rather being a person who helps usher in the divine reversals of which Mary sang?

God of reversals, I praise you for your justice, your mercy, and your passion for those at the bottom, those on the fringe. Give me that same passion, that I may be an agent of your divine reversal and a force for good. In Jesus’ name I pray; Amen.

Pr. Randy Gehring