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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Advent 4 - Reflection - Justice and Mercy : then and now



During Advent, the Social Justice group has asked the people of All Saints to reflect on a portion of Advent scripture in a context of Justice. The SJ group hopes this reflection too assists in your studies and prayers in the week ahead. 

Luke 1: 50-53
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 powerful from their thrones,
   and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
   and sent the rich away empty.

Tucked away in the Christmas story is Mary’s remarkable response, The Magnificat – My soul does magnify the Lord. Mary (the Jewish version of her name is Miriam) echoes, with insight, another time and another prophetic Miriam, the sister of Moses. Each woman intervened in the narrative of Israel and the world by bringing into human history a child whose life would be hallmarked with the spirit of redemption.

Mary knew the character of the God who sent the messaging angel.  She knew his mercy, his strength, his diminution of the proud and powerful, his uplift of the humble and powerless.  Mary knew her God as a provider and his disdain for those who relied on wealth and status.  Her words are for us to-day. Her active acceptance of what was being asked of her, personally, is also a model for us to-day.

Mary’s view of God was broad and deep. In the all-encompassing God was, and is to-day, a place for herself.  The God who deals with nations and generations also takes into account the individual.  It is so with God’s justice. God’s actions are broad and deep: across nations, across generations, across the sweep of history yet into the lives of individuals.

To-day, when we feel the march of history close at hand in the lives of nations and individuals, we know that God’s mercy, God’s justice is present too.

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