What if up was down, black was white, left was right and out was in? Sounds a little like the world we live in don’t you think?
It seems that with every passing trend, there is a new one to follow. What once was unthinkable is then accepted and then not accepted, and the cycle continues.
For instance, if anyone had told me when I was a child, that in the 90’s it would be fashionable for guys to wear their pants halfway down their posteriors with their underwear showing, I would have laughed myself silly.
No offence to those who think that is cool and I’m sure you are very cool, but back then (and to an eight year old girl), that just would have seemed very funny and maybe a little embarrassing.
There were plenty of fashions in the eighties and nineties that were cool at the time, some have even done the full circle and made it back to acceptable, current and even iconic.
I like the changing of seasons as much as the next person but I am so glad that some things remain unchanged even though they still seem, after many centuries, a little topsy turvy.
In a world where riches and power are highly sought after at any cost, where women and children are being abused and mistreated, where the value of an animal is worth more than an unborn child, and the worship of God is punishable by death, it’s reassuring to know that God has never changed and has his own way of keeping things interesting.
The way of the world teaches that advancement is dominance, and to push everyone and everything out of the way in order to promote and advance oneself at the cost of all others, is success.
A servant king
Jesus demonstrated the opposite – coming to earth as a servant.
To begin with, he left the glory of his place in heaven to be born in a manger surrounded by animals. He served his disciples by washing their feet. He healed the sick and spent time with the outcasts of society. He showed love to the unlovely and friendship to the lonely and lost.
When questioned about why he ate with sinners, Jesus replied, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark chapter 2 verse 17)
When two of his disciples requested places of honour in heaven, he told them, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark chapter 10 verses 43-44)
Psalm 68 tells how God is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows setting the lonely in families and leading out prisoners with singing. He displaced Kings and armies and allowed the women to come in and collect the plunder, calling the women who proclaim God’s word ‘a mighty throng’.
A topsy turvy world
I wonder what it would be like, a world where this behaviour was dominant? Where we lived to serve, rather than be served. Where we lived to give, rather than receive. Where we lived to promote, rather than be promoted.
A little topsy turvy perhaps? I think it would be unrecognisable and probably not completely possible in this lifetime, but something to think about nonetheless.
God’s topsy turvy world:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted,
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’
(Matthew chapter 5 verses 3-10)
(c) Rebecca Moore 2015
First published for Christian Today Australia 11 November, 2015