“He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty.”
— Luke 1:53
Mary’s song speaks of a great reversal and disruption! The proud are brought low, and the humble poor are lifted up. Hungry folks are filled, and the rich are emptied. Does that scare you?
Some people have wondered, Does this mean that God has favorites? Does God love the poor more than the rich? God loves everyone, right?
God makes clear that he loves the poor and is deeply concerned about them. Hundreds of Scripture passages testify to God’s concern for the poor and oppressed and his intentions to uphold their cause.
Actually, God loves both the poor and the rich—but not because they are poor or rich. God loves them because they are his children and he wants everyone to flourish.
God wants the poor to be able to live into the fullness of their identity and vocation. He focuses on them like a firefighter on a burning house. God promises to help the poor and relieve their suffering.
God calls the rich to the fullness of their humanity too. He warns them against the dangers of greed, the temptations of excessive wealth, and the sins of ignoring or abusing the poor. These vices interfere with discipleship and contribute to poverty. These warnings are expressions of grace.
God loves all of us and calls us to live in obedience to his sovereign rule. That’s how we get to shalom.
God, thank you for your care and provisions, and give us the grace to live like Jesus, who became poor for the sake of us all. Amen.