December 15, 2007

When Upside-down Is Right-side Up

Luke 1:46-55

"He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble."
Luke 1:52


I want to see the world turned upside-down. I want to see hungry people fed. I want to see tyrants removed from their petty thrones. I want to see broken lives put back together. I want to see people who have little know the blessing of God's lavish care. I want to see clever people discover that God's foolishness is true wisdom.

That isn't the kind of world we live in, is it? But is such a world coming?

Mary sings of a world in which social relationships are up-ended; she sings of an upside-down kingdom created by divine grace.

If you are a disciple of Jesus, you live in that kingdom already. Oh, I realize that kingdom isn't fully here. But the faithful discipleship of people like Mary is helping that kingdom show its face throughout the world.

Christmas is about matters that some people think are none of Jesus' business. Jesus grieves the grinding poverty in Bangladesh. He is moved to compassion by AIDS sufferers throughout Africa. He is righteously indignant about class systems in the world that elevate the few and grind to bits the self-esteem of so many.

Some people say these things aren't on his agenda. But his followers know better. We are citizens of an upside-down kingdom. And the King's agenda has already become our own.

Lord, forgive us when our agendas are empty of issues of social justice and transformation. Help us to share your heart and our resources with exploited and oppressed people. Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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