All through this Advent season we have been reflecting on our standing with God as we prepare for God.
Some of us may have a rather inflated opinion of our standing. We read our Bibles every day; we share in worship every week; we give our time and money; we serve on committees. We….we….we…….
Sometimes, such an emphasis on ‘we’ and on our goodness can shut out the goodness of God as central.
Today the appointed lessons invite us to consider another ‘wee’, as in wee tiny. When God comes, some people stand before God and feel they are so small. [cf Isaiah 6.] Today is affirmation of all such ‘little’ people, at least as they see themselves. God does not view it that way.
God’s promise through Micah is that the long-awaited Anointed One will come from one of the little clans. Not from one of the big clans that like to throw their weight around and get their way.
In the Gospel an unknown teenage girl is told she is to bear God’s Promise in a special way. She is so small. Her sense of her own ‘wee’-ness contrasts starkly with the big kids who feel they are more worthy and deserving than she. In response, she does not seek to lift herself up or make herself large. She shines the light on who is great and instead proclaims, ‘My soul doth magnify the LORD’.
As our Scottish friends might say, God is giving a wee nudge of leveling both to those who think they are wee before the LORD and to those who think ‘we’ deserve high standing before the LORD.
Through our actions in these final days of Advent – and in every day – we are called to make God large for the sake of the world God so loves.
For further reflection
On this Fourth and final Sunday of Advent, how do you hear the Good News of God through these texts?
With whom do you feel called to share which aspect of God’s News: who are the ‘wee’ people to be lifted up and who are the mighty to be brought down?
Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. With your abundant grace and might, free us from the sin that binds us, that we may receive you in joy and serve you always, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Luke 1:39-45 [46-55]
8When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, "See, I have come to do your will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And it is by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, 40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? 44For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord."