“He has brought down the powerful from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.’”

Mary’s Magnificat, Luke 1:52 (NRSV)

Persecution

Mary was among the many who had little agency in their world. Even when they obeyed every authority, paid all the taxes asked of them (which included steep side fees, payable to the tax collector’s private account), and did their best to keep clear of political or religious controversy, they were the lowly. Those in power were often capricious or cruel. Their only hope for deliverance was in the Lord.

Mary knew her firstborn was the key to God’s liberation. One day, Messiah would bring down those who oppressed and abused the lowly, and He would lift up all those downtrodden and weighed low with burdens.

Jesus, Faithful and True, will come in power to establish righteousness and justice throughout the cosmos. But before this, Jesus came in meekness, His power held in check, suffering persecution as one of the lowly. It was the only way to bring down the most powerful of evil, sitting upon its throne of sin, corruption, and death.

Citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven are not surprised when the forces of darkness oppose the light and life of the Gospel. All those who are persecuted for doing what is right, for being meek or merciful, for offering forgiveness, or restoration, or reconciliation, are sharing in this life of Christ.

Christmas Carol

He rules the world with truth and grace
and makes the nations prove
the glories of his righteousness
and wonders, wonders of his love.

“Joy to the World” Isaac Watts (1719)

Prayer

Thank You, Lord, for meekly enduring abuse and suffering for our sake. Just as you entrusted Yourself to the One Who judges justly, so we entrust ourselves to You Who are faithful and true. In You we died to all that is unrighteous, and have been raised to live for righteousness. (1 Peter 2:22-23)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus’s Beatitudes, Matthew 5:10 (NRSV)

Alexandrian World Chronicle – 7v – Jesus, Mary and Elisabeth, 5th Century | By Unknown authorPublic Domain

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s