Today is the 2nd day of the 2012 Advent season. It can be hard to slow down in these early days of the season and reflect. Some student’s have final exams and papers due, others are running around getting Christmas plans together or shopping for gifts. Life can get hecticaround the holidays, but I hope you take some time this Advent season to really reflect and slow down a moment. Perhaps we can all avoid the “holiday rush” if we stop to savor what the holiday is truly about.
Today’s scripture is from Luke 1:46-55. It reads:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
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.”
Mary recognizes that this child of hers will turn the world on its head. Those who are proud and powerful will find themselves scattered and the humble shall be raised up. The poor, the meek, the unworthy shall all be given mercy. God is showing a value system completely opposite of what we tend to imagine. Where man values the proud and strong, God is showing that he has come for the weak and the humble. How many times throughout scripture has God used the underdog to shame the powerful? God uses the unlikely and incapable in order to show that he is truly God.
Mary knows that God is about to act in human history in the most incredible way, and yet God is doing so through a young virgin and a baren old housewife. God seems to enjoy surprising people with those he chooses to do great things. He himself chose to become the son of a carpenter, and yet this lowly carpenter would change the world forever.
Mary is about to be a part of the beginning of the culmination of all of God’s promises dating back to Abraham. Her child would be the Messiah who would begin the process of bringing the world back into perfect unity with God under a new covenant. While we have not yet seen this coming to full completion, thanks to Christ we can say that we are living in the second act of the great story that involves us all.
In Luke’s account he states over and over the powerful faith that Mary and Elizabeth had. Luke praises the two women for their humility and their willingness to be vessels from which the messenger and the messiah would be brought into fruition. Mary was chosen for this task for her humility (Luke 1:48), and in the same way God seems to regularly call upon the humble to do the most incredible works.
Let us take today to reflect upon what it means to be humble and how we can, like Mary, prepare our hearts to be used by God however he sees fit. Let us also reflect on the impact and power that the Christ event has played in God’s restorative plan, and how as Christians living on the other side of the cross we can rejoice in being allowed to live in the days which we were given. Let us allow God to be glorified in and through us by remembering who we are, where we are, and where we are going.