December 24 I Friday
“The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous. He mocks proud mockers but shows favour to the humble and oppressed.” —Proverbs 3:33-34
One of the greatest hymns found in Scripture is Mary’s song, the Magnificat. As the Spirit leads Mary to sing this profound song, she declares three juxtapositions that contrast the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. In Luke 1:51-53, she sings, “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.” What God is speaking of in the passage here is haughtiness. “Haughty” literally means, “blatantly and disdainfully proud; having or showing an attitude of superior and contempt for people or things perceived to be inferior.”
The rich, the wealthy and the systems of power that would seek to exploit others to their own benefit will be brought low. In their place, Jesus would lift up the humble, the poor, the marginalized and the despised. They would be the teachers to the leaders. Mary’s song is simply declaring what God has always been about, as Jesus said: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5). The Magnificat confronts the ways of this world; it is subversive and revolutionary.
The arrival of God’s kingdom is completely turning the tables on the ways of this world. God has come to fill the hungry, but send the rich away empty. We see that reality playing out in our own Christmas. In a culture where we value gift giving and a pursuit of more, we can look to objects to satisfy our deepest needs. But the problem is when we fix our attention on material wealth, influence or power, we can never have enough. Some of us may look forward to Christmas, but when January comes, and the gifts we received do not fulfill our deepest longings, it leaves us with a gnawing emptiness on the inside. If we fix our desires on material goods, power or influence, it will always leave us wanting. Jesus is the only One who can satisfy our hunger. He is the only One who can fill us with good things.
The first Christmas carol reminds us that the old who sometimes are discarded, the young abandoned to their own devices, the single parent without resources and the homeless are encompassed within the mighty deeds of God. May we recognize how easy the things of this world bring us emptiness, and choose instead to share Jesus, who has filled us so that we are able to overflow the goodness of who He is to those around us.
Prayer: Lord God, how amazing You are! When I come to You, I find myself filled and satisfied with the goodness of who You are. Open my eyes to see whom I could share the goodness of Jesus with. Thank You, God.