“Here it is again, the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.” Matthew 20:16
This scripture from Jesus’ words in Matthew inspired the beginning of The Reversal’s ministry in 2010. As we’ve grown and evolved over the years I feel it necessary to go back to that simple but profound Truth – THE FIRST WILL BE LAST, AND THE LAST FIRST.
The TRUTH of Jesus’ Way being so opposite our natural SELF is not only important today but urgent. Never in my lifetime have I seen such division and confusion as to what it means to follow Christ. The tension of this ‘upside down’ Way is beautiful and perhaps never easier – the division and confusion actually make it easier to stand out in stark contrast to a world that seeks individualism, polarizing narratives and a self-seeking love that doesn’t work.
So, The Reversal is a dialogue. A reflection. A movement (God willing).
No matter where you find yourself in your faith, my prayer is that there is something here for everyone. I believe God has something to say about this moment in culture.
What does it look like to live inside of this “Great Reversal”?
To pursue reconciliation in the midst of division?
To pursue Truth in a world that values the search for truth but not in finding it?
To serve the disempowered, the vulnerable and the poor in the midst of wealth, fame and notoriety?
To join the BIG story of God and break out of the limited story we try to write for ourselves?
“That’s when you’ll find yourselves out in the cold, strangers to grace. You’ll watch Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets march into God’s kingdom. You’ll watch outsiders stream in from east, west, north, and south and sit down at the table of God’s kingdom. And all the time you’ll be outside looking in—and wondering what happened. This is the Great Reversal: the last in line put at the head of the line, and the so-called first ending up last.” Luke 13:28 (MSG)
Jesus said, “Mark my words, no one who sacrifices house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children, land—whatever—because of me and the Message will lose out. They’ll get it all back, but multiplied many times in homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land—but also in troubles. And then the bonus of eternal life! This is once again the Great Reversal: Many who are first will end up last, and the last first.” Mark 10:29 (MSG)
Jesus replied, “Yes, you have followed me. In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel. And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields—whatever—because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life. This is the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up last, and the last first.” Matthew 19:28 (MSG)
Milam Byers, the founder and director of The Reversal, has spent over a dozen years involved in the music industry in some form or the other. He spent nearly 10 years as a full-time touring musician and knows the challenges, struggles and lifestyle well. Milam began The Reversal in May, 2010 with a vision to see a spiritual awakening among the artist community of Nashville.
Since 2014, Milam has worked at Food for the Hungry. He is now focused on walking alongside professional athletes to live out The Reversal by helping the poor around the world with their influence and platform. Milam developed the Sports Partnerships department for FH and also created Striking Out Poverty, a campaign with MLB athletes to end poverty in the Dominican Republic.
Milam lives in Nashville with Ashley, his wife of 14 years, and their 4 children: Gunnar (9), Remy (7), Ryder-John (3) and Birdie (newborn).