And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
Luke 1:46-55 ESV
The Magnificat, on of Christianity’s oldest hymns, taken directly from the Gospel of Luke, speaks not only of God choosing a humble girl to bear his son, but also of God’s bias to the poor, the humble and the powerless.
Not that God is against anyone. Jesus ate with the rich and poor, but he did talk about the responsibilities of the rich.
From the beginning, the Old Testament law, the responsibilities of the rich are made clear: A landowner was not allowed to reap the crop in the corner of his field so that the poor could reap, or glean, it and be able to eat. The book of Ruth shows the landowner, Boaz, doing this, and Ruth gleaning. God’s bias here is taken seriously and commended.
Being rich isn’t wrong, In Acts chapter 4 Barnabas would not have been able to sell off his field to help the poor if he did not have a spare field. God’d bias is taken seriously here too.
Where there is inequality it is clear that God wants all to bee looked after. Those who are comfortable have a duty to care for those who are less well off.
Bringing it right up to date, the government says we are out of recession, the data says so. Unfortunately the figures also show that under 35s are 7% worse off now than they were before the recession started in 2007. The rich are getting the benefit.
Where is the voice of the prophets in this modern age. Where is the voice that says that the increasing gap between the richest and poorest in our society is wrong. The avarice of those who have more, much more, than they require needs to be condemned. We need another Amos to call for justice to flow like rivers.
When I see the mighty from their from their thrones and those of humble estate exalted I will no that God’s kingdom is here. Until it is here we have to fight for those values.
40 blogs of Lent day 17