Advent Day 6- Long way from Lord to lowliness

And Mary said:  My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.  (Luke 1:46-48)

There’s a long way from Lord to lowliness.  A long way from the Mighty One, the Holy One, Creator of the Universe, God of Israel and all the famous personages of the scriptures, to a teen-age peasant girl whose parents (Jesus’ maternal grandparents) are not even named in the gospels.  A long way, and Mary knew it.

This song (dig out your bibles and keep reading on) reflects how she found the whole thing amazing, humbling, and a great reversal of the way things are run in the world.  That the God of Israel should choose to keep the centuries old promise through her was mind blowing.  Heart stopping.  It’s a long way from Lord to lowliness.

But there is one thing that Mary may not have grasped quite yet.  Even the gospel writers and we ourselves are confounded with the mystery.  The Lord of the universe is not simply looking “down” with favor on a “lowly” Mary.  The Lord of the Universe is becoming “lowly” in order to serve Mary and all of us.

In her book, Fragments of Your Ancient Name, Joyce Rupp writes:

“Lord.”  That word sounds extremely patriarchal.
Definite.  No compromising.  Heavy-handed.
“Lording it over,” so the phrase goes,
Implying one who wields power callously.
But your coming to dwell among us
Expressed the very opposite of this.
You, Lord, washed feet, touched lepers,
Wept with the grieving, forgave sinners.
You did not over-power.  You empowered.
Restoring dignity and self-confidence.

And the apostle Paul writes in Philippians 2 that Christ

“…though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross.

Yes, Mary, it is a long way from Lord to lowliness, but a greater mystery how the Lord becomes the epitome of lowliness itself.