Day 12: The Great Reversal

“He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty” (Luke 1:51-53)

Imagine that you are teenage Mary when an angel of the Lord appears to you announcing that you will conceive the Son of God. Yikes! Understandably, Mary is nearly in shock when she hears the news. This is the biggest day in her young life—any young life.

But she recovers quickly. She realizes that God is up to something. Something bigger than her. So she sings. And what does she sing? She sings that in this miraculous conception of her baby, God is making good on his promise to raise the humble and crush the proud. The religious people, the PhDs, the stock brokers, the politicians—they will be brought to nothing. This is the story of how God has always worked in the world. It’s just now happening in the most incredible way possible. A way no one expected. The God of the whole universe is going to become small. Very small.

If in God’s economy, the mighty will be brought down, then it begs the question: do I want this story to be my story? Do I want to be low and humble rather than important and exalted? Mary embraced this. Will you? How did she do it? Her eyes were on her own son—God’s Son. In Jesus, we see the God who not only exalts the humble, but humbled himself to the point of having an umbilical cord—then growing up and going to a cross to die for sins not his own, but mine. Yours. The world’s. It’s the great reversal. And through Jesus, the poor would become rich; the lame would walk; the blind would see; the guilty would be pardoned; the slave would go free; the orphan would find a home.

This is the greatest reversal, indeed. And when you look at the baby who makes it all happen, you will be humbled and ready to embrace God’s story and make it your own.

Scripture and Reflection Questions
Read Luke 1:46-56

  1. What is so amazing about this prayer from Mary?
  2. Do you want to be low and humble in the world’s eyes in order to be exalted by God?
  3. Read vv. 54-54. Why is it important that God keeps promises? Do you believe him when he promises something?
  4. Jesus flips the values of the world on their head. Where do you see this happening in your own life? Where are some of your values that you need to re-evaluate in order to faithfully follow Jesus?
  5. How does Jesus’ death for you move you toward humility? What pride must you confess?

From We Look for Light: Readings and Reflections for Advent