Read Luke 1:28-30. TEXT: And he (the angel) came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she (Mary) was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be" (Luke 1:28-29).
Like Zechariah before, Mary is greatly troubled at this angel's unexpected appearance. She struggles to understand what kind of message he has come to bring: will it be good news or bad?
Immediately, the angel assures Mary that she is favored, and the Lord is with her. In fact, very shortly, the Lord will be with her in a unique and special way. The Son of God Himself will become human and dwell within her womb.
But God's favor is not just for Mary, it is for you and me this Christmas as well. Jesus promised, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him" (John 14:23b).
But who is worthy of such a favor? Have we done enough, lived a good enough life to be favored by God? The answer is no, just as it was for Mary. But notice, the angel doesn't say, "You have earned favor with God," he says, "You have found favor with God." Just as God has shown undeserved kindness and favor to Mary, He shows it to you and me.
That's what Christmas is all about-God looking on us, and deciding to send His Son to make everything right between Him and us. There is absolutely nothing we need to do-nothing we can do. In His life, death and resurrection, Jesus has done everything necessary to remove God's displeasure and win His eternal favor.
THE PRAYER: Holy Father, it is humbling to think that Your favor rests upon us in Your Son Jesus. He makes us bold to call upon You. Help us share His marvelous news with others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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