a blog for teachers who follow the Master Teacher
He has filled the hungry with good things; those who were hungry are hungry no more.
Two mothers, before they were mothers, encountered Yahweh. Hannah was infertile and desperate for a son. Mary was un-expecting a child…or an angelic annunciation. Yahweh assented to Hannah’s vow, and she birthed Samuel. Mary assented to Gabriel’s news, and conceived God in flesh. Each burst into prayerful song.
Eli and Elizabeth witness their choral responses. Elizabeth is filled with the Spirit, and Eli worships the Lord. Teachers who follow the Master heed the call to be a testament to our students. We can also be a witness of Yahweh’s intervention for our students and their families, and it will fortify our own faiths.
Hannah and Mary lead with the effect of encountering Yahweh on the inner life. My heart exults in the Lord… My soul exalts the Lord… They experience Yahweh’s intervention in their realities, and it births confidence. Hannah speaks boldly against her enemies, and Mary asserts that all generations will remember and bless her.
The Great Reversal
The Great Commission mobilizes us. The Great Commandment orders our affections: Love God first, then neighbor. Work those out, and all else finds its proper place. Before the Master teaches it, both Hannah and Mary give us another Great, The Great Reversal. What is first will be last, what is rich will be poor, what is elevated will fall down, the hungry are fed, the childless leave a heritage, the dead live.
Esteem initiates The Great Reversal in us. To welcome, approve, and admire that which is lowly – less material possessions, not more; a simple balanced meal; a walk to work or a carpool; an open door and shared table for the stranger. Identification continues the transformation; we become what we admire. Assent to this turnaround births a freedom song.
Each account ends seeing the women to their own front doors. Hannah leaves the company of Eli and returns home with her husband Elkanah. Mary leaves Elizabeth to return to Joseph in Nazareth. Their circumstances are static. Hannah is childless in her home. Mary is a virgin engaged. But now they are profoundly aware of their belovedness and the presence of Yahweh. They have assented to The Great Reversal, and the trajectory of the redemptive story arcs on.
Vainly we offer each ample oblation
Vainly with gifts would His favour secure
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.