Tuesday, January 14, 2020
1 Samuel 2:1-8
God does everything backwards. He reverses everything.
When Mary in the Magnificat says “the rich he has sent away empty, and the hungry he has filled with good things,” or “he has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly,” she is really quoting and adapting the Song of Hannah from today: “the bows of the mighty are broken, / while the tottering gird on strength. / The well fed hire themselves out for bread / while the hungry batten on spoil.”
Both these wonderful women are using the rhetorical strategy of reversal, of antithesis. The high is low and the low is high. Nothing is what we expect it to be.
So today maybe God is calling us to think about our lives in reverse. If we’re really certain about something, maybe we should question it a little. If we’re really satisfied with something, maybe we should think again.
If we’re judging somebody today, if we’re criticizing someone in our minds, maybe we should give up that judgment.
But even more with our sadness and our loneliness and our despair. With our barrenness. That’s what we should really turn upside down. Maybe what seems empty today is really a call. Maybe it’s only in our emptiness that we can be filled. Maybe our desolation is just as revelatory as our consolation, and what is being revealed is God’s great and abiding grace.
Maybe we’ve got it all wrong, and it’s exactly when God doesn’t seem to be speaking to us, that he is. He’s just saying: I am in the quiet. I am in the humble. I am in the small.