Here we are—two days from the darkest night of the year and six days from the angels’ light and song.
And in Today’s gospel, the virgin Mary, with Jesus in her womb, visits her cousin, Elizabeth, who was carrying John the Baptist in her womb.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, John leaped in her womb.
Two pregnant women carrying children who would die violently—John from be-heading and Jesus from crucifixion.
Yet their meeting was one of the most glorious encounters in the Gospels.
Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and told Mary, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?”
And Mary replies with some of the most beautiful and poignant words of scripture. Listen again to what Mary says: “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. Surely, from now on all generations will called me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy if 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.”
What Mary is saying that God is turning things inside-out and upside-down.
The proud will be put in their place.
The powerful will be brought down and the lowly lifted up. Just as Mary was—a lowly servant to be mother of our Lord.
The hungry will be filled with good things and the rich sent away empty.
Upside-down and inside-out.
And as his people, we must do as God would do. We are his hands and minds and eyes in this world.
We must lift up the lowly. We must feed the hungry. We must put the proud in their place and bring down the high and mighty.
You here at Trinity are doing those things.
The gifts in the back of the church are proof of that. The wreath on our front porch in Cheshire is proof of that. Your work in the community is proof of that.
But we must never stop. Not ever.
The longest night is coming. We must work for the rights of women and minorities. We must welcome the strangers to our shores. We must defend the right to vote and equal treatment under the law however we can.
“Inside-out and upside-down” is our mission, our calling by God, the reason for our lives. Lean into the Light….
Amen and Amen.