Reorienting Our Lives
Of all beings, only God could choose the time, place, and circumstances of God’s birth and life here on earth. God chose to be born in a barn to a poor peasant couple, to become a refugee in the first years of life, and to belong to a race of people who had a history of rejecting their own prophets. Why? God could have come under better conditions and in a time when the Messiah would have been more well-received. God’s choices here reveal to us that the new thing about to be done would be demonstrated through a person, God fleshed out in Jesus Christ!
Mary expected to live out a quiet existence as a carpenter’s wife, but God comes and disrupts her life. God calls her blessed and worthy to be the mother of the Son of God. The people around her would call it scandalous if she were found to be pregnant before she was married. But Mary believed God and took God’s word. She considered the cost and willingly traded her peaceful life for one marked by shame, scandal, and disdain. Mary chose to align herself with the one who “will reign over the house of Jacob forever, whose kingdom will have no end.”
God’s choice clearly shows an identification with the poor and needy of the world, the disadvantaged, and those who are at the bottom of the social order; and in so doing, God shows that these are the ones who will be blessed by God’s coming. If this is what God’s kingdom is about, then like Mary, we must choose whether we will reorient our lives with God’s future or stay with the world’s status quo.
—Ms. Susie Wong
- Read Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Who are those who will welcome God’s coming? Who will not?
- In what ways are you part of today’s status quo, the advantaged, the rich, and powerful? Think globally.
- The angel Gabriel appears with a message from God. How are Zechariah and Mary’s lives affected?
- How has God disrupted your life? What has God been saying to you about reorienting your values and priorities in light of the kingdom?
How Do I Act?
- “Live simply, so that others may simply live.” Choose not to make any unnecessary purchases for yourself in these weeks before Christmas.
- Practice alternative gift-giving with a small group of friends or family. Instead of buying and receiving Christmas gifts from one another, take the money you would have spent on gifts and donate it to an organization or ministry that cares for the poor and hungry. Then give the person a card telling them who got their gift.
- Look up a Christian organization such as World Vision and ask to begin sponsoring a needy child.
- Continue to cut out newspaper articles about needy people and places. Share them with your church and pray for these concerns.