Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A great reversal

A few weeks ago, our pastor mentioned the Magnificat (Mary's song starting in Luke 1:46) as talking about a great reversal, where he brings down rulers, lifts up the humdle, fills the hungry, etc.

Today's reading from the psalms includes this:
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
Psalm 146:7-8
Is there a 1000-year echo in here? Well, of course there is, and it's both longer and shorter than that -- longer because we still recite these words today, 2000-3000 years later, and shorter because Mary could easily have gotten them from the prophet Isaiah, who spoke long after David about freedom for captives, beauty for ashes, gladness for mourners, praise for the despairing (Isaiah 61).

Why is this interesting to me? Because it shows the kind of thing the Lord loves to do -- free the captive, encourage the despairing, give sight to the blind. Isn't that cool? Aren't you glad to serve someone like that? What better to give my life to than to bring joy and hope and gladness and freedom to those who are made in God's image?

There are things to do this time of year, feeding the hungry, caring for the destitute and so on. But God doesn't love to do this kind of thing only in December; he loves to do it all year long!

There are opportunities for this sort of thing all year long, but I don't avail myself of them very often. Somehow I'm afraid I get caught up in other things too often; I don't always attend to what's truly important, or truly rewarding.

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