He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. (Luke 1:52 –53)
It is those who are lowly and unworthy in the eyes of the world who are called by God to do the most vital task on earth, that is, to gather his church and proclaim his gospel.
Again and again, what it amounts to is a clash between two opposing goals: One goal is to seek the person of high position, the great person, the spiritual person, the clever person, the fine person, the person who because of his natural talents represents a high peak, as it were, in the mountain range of humanity. The other goal is to seek the lowly people, the minorities, the handicapped and mentally retarded, the prisoners: the valleys of the lowly between the heights of the great. They are the degraded, the enslaved, the exploited, the weak and poor, the poorest of the poor.
The first goal aims to exalt the individual, by virtue of his natural gifts, to a state approaching the divine. In the end he is made a god. The other goal seeks the wonder and mystery of God becoming man, God seeking the lowest place among men.
Two completely opposite directions. One is the self-glorifying upward thrust. The other is the downward movement to become human. One is the way of self-love and self-exaltation. The other is the way of God’s love and love of one’s neighbor.
Jesus experienced the utmost humiliation. From the feed-trough and the manger at his birth to his death on the cross. May we return again to the only thing that counts: to the way of Jesus Christ who was humiliated, tried, and crucified with criminals for our sake. We want to ask God to let us become like Jesus and, like him, to revere the childlike spirit of love and humility.
He who reveals God as a man, this is the One whom we seek. He who reveals God as love, this is the human being with whom we want to have communion. He who associates with the lowliest, he on whom the Holy spirit of God descends, him we mean.
We pray for the whole human race to be released from the folly and delusion of exalting “wonderful” people. We pray that they may see that the meaning of history and the meaning of every human life lies in Jesus Christ, who is the new Man. Through him and in him humankind will be renewed. and this renewal will begin in the body of Christ, which is the church.
As published in When the Time Was Fulfilled (Plough Publishing, 2011).
Article edited for length and clarity.