The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
In this translation of Luke 1:28, the angel Gabriel announces some very exciting news to a young, poor girl from Nazareth. Mary not only hears that God favors her, but will also hear that she is chosen to carry the long-awaited Messiah. God had been silent for over 400 years, and now she is the first recipient of the news that she is to be mother of the God Most High.
Can. You. Imagine?
I love everything about the Christmas story. I love to study it, to teach it, and to ponder on it. There is so much to unpack in this story of Jesus’ humble entrance into our dark world. No matterhow many times I’ve read it, reviewed it, or studied it, God always allows me to walk away with another “ah-ha” moment. I’m so thankful he loves me enough to speak to my heart in ways I can understand!
The Bible clearly tells us that Mary was highly favored. However, it doesn’t tell us exactly why. Yes, Mary was hand-chosen to be the mother of Jesus, but Mary was also just a normal, everyday, common girl. She was human and sinful, even at her early age. Therefore, Mary couldn’t have done anything to deserve God’s favor. He favored Mary, because HE CHOSE TO…not because she deserved it. It had nothing to do with Mary, but EVERYTHING to do with HIM. She was highly favored and received this unmerited favor as a Grace-gift.
Ponder on that for a moment.
A Grace-gift: He wasn’t just blessing Mary with a child, but wasdelivering her through her son.
A Grace-gift: God wasn’t only thinking of Mary, but was thinking of each of us.
We, too, are the recipients of that Grace-gift. A gift of unmerited favor, given by God, through a precious little baby. A baby that was born in a dirty manger, wrapped in dirty clothes, having his first visitors being dirty shepherds. A Grace-gift that would grow and become our sin payment…payment in full for our eternal salvation.
What a gift! Please unwrap your gift this Christmas. Yes, Mary was highly favored, AND so are you!