Gideon & the Midianites – Judges 6:15-16 “But Lord, …how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family?” The Lord answered, “I’ll be with you….”
There are the rich and powerful in every society, and then there are the rest of us. Many of us do okay in life – maybe not great, but not badly either. Then there are weak, the marginalised and the poor and the abused. Maybe you identify as one of these.
This story comes from a period is Israel’s history when it was weak – very weak. They had not been listening to God. Often the destructive forces in our life are not our fault but sometimes they are. In this story they were Israel’s fault. During this time, whenever it was harvest time Israel’s neighbours would come across and destroy its crops and cattle. For an agricultural society, this was as bad as it could get. Eventually they came to their senses. God chose Gideon – the weakest of the weak – and through him, God defeated the enemy so Israel could flourish again.
We remember at Christmas time this gift of God: Jesus. God himself took on the weakness of humanity to deal with its enemy – evil and death. Jesus won this victory for all time. He chooses you, in your weaknesses, to love your neighbours and those around you, including the poor, the marginalised and abused. He came to give hope and strength through his Spirit even in your weakest moments or as 2 Corinthians says, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”
Do you feel weak, afraid, or vulnerable? How might God use that to love others or welcome new people into your life?
*stay tuned for tomorrow’s advent reflection*
(advent reflections have been prepared by a variety of writers from Peace Church)