Advent Reading Day 5 – The Equalizer

“He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.  He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble.  He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, evan as he said to our fathers.”  Luke 1:51 – 55

We all love seeing the powerful taken down a notch, don’t we?  There’s something in our hearts that longs to see justice.  It started for me on the playground when I loved to see the bully get what was coming to him, and has continued into adulthood as I like seeing the high and mighty brought low.  I believe that, while the quest for justice comes to us from God’s heart, in our fallenness there can be blind spots that cloud our vision.

This is why I love Mary’s song, The Magnificat.  I love how she sings joyfully before God for how He has chosen her for this incredibly special task that truly leaves her blessed.  He has chosen her to be part of His Mission and she joyfully and obediently follows despite the ridicule and difficulty that will come upon her.  It is beautiful and reflects the kind of obedience I so long in my heart of hearts.  Yet, I also find in Mary’s Song a revelation of who God is as well as insight into who I am…for good and bad.

Mary’s imagery is powerful – The God who has performed mighty acts with His arm and who has worked justice.  What an amazing image to instill faith in each of us – The God who works for justice, who brings down the powerful, who fills the hungry and sends the rich away empty.  The God who is for the underdog.  However, there is a check in here for me.  You see it is easy to start to see that God is somehow working with me in a quest for justice – bringing justice into being everywhere I place my feet – working everything out for the good of Me.

However, if I am honest then I must admit  that there are times when I am not the underdog, but rather I am on top.  There are times where I am not the hungry, but rather I am the rich.   There are times where I am the powerful who is not longing for justice, but rather I am liking the position that I find myself in.   In those times it is as if I am playing the Magnicat backwards and coming up with a totally different message that somehow God is justifying my position as the one on top, the rich and the powerful.

My belief, however is that God calls us back to the place of seeing Him as central and therefore to partner with Him in His bringing justice to the downtrodden, the poor, the powerless and the underdog.  However, this requires me to come to a humility and recognize that I struggle with pride in my inmost thoughts – I am a person with power trying to disguise myself as an underdog in order to take some of the benefits of The Kingdom that I know are reserved for the last, the least and the lost.   In the end I am called to a radical evaluation of myself (who I am, what I have, and what I do with it) by The Holy Spirit.   Jesus’ coming demonstrates that the justice of God is in operation through His mighty arm.   Lord, give me insight into how I am both for You and against You in Your purposes of justice and mercy.  Change my heart, change my mind, and change my position… O God.

Prayer:  “Jesus, we celebrate You and Your coming.  We celebrate how you lift us out of our places of brokenness and bring about justice.   Help us to work with You in Your mission to the last and the least.  Break us out of our desires to cast ourselves in the roles of underdog and those who have suffered injustice and instead help us to see the ways that we perpetuate injustice at the cost of others around us.” Amen.

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