Trying It God’s Way

Andrea Poppleton

READ : Luke 1:46-55

He has . . . lifted up the lowly. (v. 52 NRSV)

The nativity offers a picture of what Mary’s song describes: lowly ones exalted. There is Mary, a young girl from no special background. There are shepherds, social outcasts of their time. There are wise men from the East, gentiles outside the covenant. And there was Jesus himself, who swapped his divine privileges for human skin and swaddling clothes. It’s hardly the picture the Jews expected to see when their Messiah arrived. But it is the scene we now embrace and recreate—on our mantles, in our pageants, on our Christmas cards. The picture is now so commonplace that we might not see how scandalous it first looked. The God of the Universe came to earth and appeared not to the powerful people but first to the lowly. As he himself was lowly.

Our lives reveal that we don’t fully follow where God has led. We reserve some attention for the lowly at Christmas—with things like food and clothing drives, shoebox gift collections, and special offerings. But we rarely pay attention to the lowly in our regular lives. Doing so requires intention, discipline, information, and courage. Will you try on the practice of serving the lowly in one small way this season? Some suggestions to get started: learn about fair-trade practices and purchase a fair-trade gift, contact a nearby college to inquire about foreign students who need a home for the holidays, or begin mentoring an at-risk child.


Give me a heart for the lowly. Amen.