Read Luke 1:39-55.
Even before Christ’s birth, Mary offers us a glimpse at the subversive nature of God’s loving presence in the world. Societal norms are about to crumble. Those who hide behind their pride will be made vulnerable. Those who manufactured false structures of power are going to lose them. Those who are pushed to the margins will have their humanity and dignity restored to them. The hungry will be fed, and those who engorged themselves with riches will finally know what it is like to go without.
Mary speaks with a prophetic voice. She offers a sharp critique of the way things are and offers hope to those who have been trampled over, or forgotten. In this sense, Mary speaks directly to Elizabeth, who essentially asks: “Why would God ever bother with me?”
Mary’s answer reminds Elizabeth (and, us) that God cares for us because we are worthy of being cared for. Remember, Elizabeth does not become pregnant until late in life, meaning that she lacked both social status and financial security in her context. God cares for her, and is present with her, because God’s love reaches all people – especially those at the margins.
Through your Spirit, O God, grant us the vision to recognize the ways you turn our world upside down. Push us to break down the ways we hide behind our own pride and power so that we may lift up the lowly as part of Christ’s body and ministry. Amen.
Rev. Chris Bailey