Top People Fall: Little People Grow

The world recession daily sees rich and powerful people fall. What the headlines miss is that lowly people grow. This is the timeless truth that the Christian season of Advent symbolises. .

In the past, a far-seeing commentator named Zephaniah suggested that the obvious front runners, the Jewish Establishment, would be deported because they were no longer to be trusted. But two other groups of people could be trusted and would be used to build a better world. One group were beyond the margins of what they thought was 'the civilisaed world' - beyond some river in Ethiopia. The other group were the ordinary people of Israel who were too poor to be deported ( Zephaniah 3:1-2, 9-13).

The people who regarded themselves as the world's front runners looked down on other peoples whose economies were in a mess but in fact they themselves had lost the plot. They could no longer be trusted. Yet a people far off beyond the boundaries of a river in Ethiopia could be trusted because in their poverty and simplicity they had sincere hearts. Then the chosen people would cease to strut; they would be removed and the ordinary, humble people who would be left behind would live honestly and inherit the possibilities.

(p>In the New Testament Advent reading that goes with this, Matthew 21:28-32, Jesus makes a similar point in relation to individuals. The person who outwardly was up to the job, who had ticked all the right boxes on the form, in fact failed to do the job. The person who said he would not do the job, in the event turned up trumps.

In Holy Island Church today this prayer was offered:Lord, bring into the light those parts of our lives that are closed, dysfunctional, non-co-operative and uncreative. Help us to embrace our vulnerability and be available to you. Take away false defences and self-righteous pigeonholing of others. We pray this also for those countries and leaders who think of themselves as the world's good guys....

Posted at 03:56am on 16th December 2008
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