An Advent Journey, 2013: Looking for the Light – Day Fourteen

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Then Hannah prayed:

“My heart rejoices in theLord!
The Lord has made me strong.
Now I have an answer for my enemies;
I rejoice because you rescued me.
No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

“Stop acting so proud and haughty!

Don’t speak with such arrogance!
For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done;
he will judge your actions.
The bow of the mighty is now broken,
    and those who stumbled are now strong.

Those who were well fed are now starving,
    and those who were starving are now full.
The childless woman now has seven children,
    and the woman with many children wastes away.

The Lord gives both death and life;
he brings some down to the grave but raises others up.
The Lord makes some poor and others rich;
he brings some down and lifts others up.
He lifts the poor from the dust
    and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
    placing them in seats of honor.
For all the earth is the Lord’s,
    and he has set the world in order.

1 Samuel 2:1-8 -NLT

I am pretty sure I know why this section of Old Testament scripture is included in this series of Advent texts. And that reason will show up in tomorrow’s post: the Magnificat, the song of Mary, the one she sings to her cousin Elizabeth, a song of power and rebellion and a prophetic word about what was to come in the ministry, life and death of the baby she carried while she sang it.

As we’ll see tomorrow, Mary’s song sounds a little bit like Hannah’s; these two women are soul sisters across the centuries that stretch from the time of the judges to 1st century Palestine. 

They know an important truth about God, a truth that we’ve been uncovering in surprising places all along our journey toward the Light this Advent season. And that truth is this: God is in the business of upsetting the apple cart, of confounding expectations, of accomplishing justice/righteousness/salvation/wholeness in ways that often seem upside down and backwards to us.

But Hannah sings right into the heart of it all:

For all the earth is the Lord’s,
    and he has set the world in order.

So as I continue to look for the light, I am asking God to help me let go of preconceptions, of culturally bound ideas of authority and power and wealth. I’m asking to see what Hannah saw, what Mary saw, and to learn to sing a song of my own. A song of praise and thanksgiving to the God of surprises, the God who comes in small things and cares about those who are least in the eyes of the world.

Will you help me to sing with my sisters, Lord God? To honor their faith, and to join them in acknowledging that you, and you alone, are in charge of this earth. That even when it doesn’t look like it to me, you have, indeed, ‘set the world in order.’ 

Comments

  1. “I am asking God to help me let go of preconceptions, of culturally bound ideas of authority and power and wealth.” This is a huge task. How do we become the people of God in the midst of empire. Thank you for continuing to lift up questions like these.

  2. Diana, I wrote a story for Ester Emery’s children for their christmas present. It is about an elf that lived on the property the bought in Idaho. Here is a relevant dialogue between Ether and the elf, Ruby:

     So what makes you think you can “own” this land on which my family has lived for generations?

     Well, I said, there is a verse in the Bible that says “The Earth is the Lord’s and everything there-in.” So I guess in a sense, we understand that we wouldn’t “own” the land.

     Ruby squinted her eyes and looked at us for what seemed like a long time, trying to see if we really believed what I had said.

     Well, that works for me – she finally said. There’s lots of ways to say it, but I reckon that’s as good as any.

  3. I love what you are asking the Lord for this Advent season.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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