A Disruptive Holiday
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
- Luke 1:52-53
How’s this for a Christmas carol?
Mary had a deep sense that God’s new work in the world at Christmas would turn the world upside down. Rulers are normally elevated in society while the humble get humiliated. The wealthy normally get the good things while the hungry go away, and go away empty. But something new is happening in the world.
The radical disruption to society that Jesus brought into the world can easily be overlooked. At Christmas, God embraces the full vulnerability of humanity. Becoming an infant, he appears to be no threat to the powers-that-be or the status quo.
Jesus carries that vulnerability for his entire life. He sleeps and gets hungry. He has to ask people questions. He suffers grief. He dies.
On the cross, Jesus is lifted up, but the rulers still sit on their thrones. His life spills out as he empties himself. But Mary’s song rings over the whole story. God’s work is not yet complete.
When Jesus rises from the dead, he overthrows those who would keep us bound to sin and brokenness. He drains them of their cruel power. He fills us with his Spirit and brings us before the throne of God above with all of the confidence we can carry.
How has Jesus disrupted your life? How has that been challenging? How has that been a blessing?