Love is to be shared. At the end of Advent, we find the story of Mary going to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Both are pregnant with children. As a parent, I connect with this story. It is a story of the big reveal. Mary is telling her family she is pregnant. It is a joyous day of love in any family when this happens. No matter if you have experienced a similar situation one can easily imagine the love and joy at this moment.
Love, true love when it happens, when it is experienced is a thing to be shared.
Juxtaposed to this moment is Mary’s song in praise of God. Some traditions call Mary’s song the Magnificat. It is a beautiful retelling of the hope of God’s people taken from some of the best heroes of the Bible. The song also talks of God’s action in the world on behalf of the poor, hurt, oppressed and abused. That the people and institutions that have been causing so much pain will find an end and justice will prevail. I believe a simple truth of God’s love is that it comes with intimately connected with justice.
Today as we are two days away from Christmas, two days away from the end of the hulked out, overly commercialized, highly capitalized holiday season, what does it look like to love? If God’s love is wrapped up with justice, how are we reflecting God’s love in the world? In what ways are we contributing to the institutions, powers, and systems in place that would seek to do harm or neglect the welfare of a young woman who reportedly had a baby out of wedlock? How are we contributing to the institutions, powers, and systems that seek to oppress and neglect the poor family from the small town in the middle of nowhere? Finally, how can we stand up for the humble, lowly, poor, and the hungry today?