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Humble beginnings

Humble beginnings

Something to read

And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

- Luke 1:46-49.

Something to think about

In Noel Streatfield’s classic children’s book, ‘Ballet Shoes’, the three adopted Fossil sisters vow to try to put their name in the history books. Biologically unrelated, they have chosen the shared name that they wish to make famous, being sure that no one will be able to attribute their achievements to their grandfathers (as, presumably, they believe to be the fate of other history-making girls).

Mary too, was born into humble circumstances; we know of nothing that would distinguish her from any other young woman in her locality. Yet she declared with absolute confidence that she would be known and remembered through all generations, not because of what she accomplished, but because of what God was doing for, in and through her.

The Fossil sisters knew that to gain recognition in the world, they would need to achieve great things despite their obscurity. But Mary discovered God’s blessing right there in her lowliness, and found it to be of greater value than anything she could attain for herself.

Any of us – I speak first to myself! – who harbour ambitions for success and recognition, must be challenged by the great upturning of the world’s expectations in Mary’s song, and God’s choice to honour humility above greatness.

Something to do

Read the stories of Fyness and Loshas, who feature in Christian Aid’s Christmas appeal this year. Share on social media, or with your church, what God is doing for them through Christian Aid partners and supporters.

Something to pray

Jesus, you were born into an ordinary family, and you lived and died in the service of others. Help me to lay down any personal ambitions to greatness, and follow you on the way of the cross. May I find your blessing and favour in humility. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones