"Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" (Luke 1:28b).
Read Luke 1:26-28.
One of the most coveted roles among the girls in our Sunday school Christmas program was the Virgin Mary. Her big moment was when she gently wrapped a baby doll in cloths and laid him in the manger. But another sought-after part was the angel Gabriel. Since that required memorizing a larger part, it usually was given to an older student.
The angel Gabriel had already brought some great messages to Daniel and Zechariah, but nothing could compare with the message God entrusts to him now. He goes out from the presence of God to a city in the northern region of Galilee called Nazareth. There he appears to a virgin who is betrothed to a man named Joseph. Her name is Mary. Gabriel greets her with reassuring words, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"
But what is so special about Mary? Why has God chosen her for this singular honor above all other virgins in Israel? Actually, there is nothing special about Mary. She is a sinner like you and me, and needs God's grace and favor just like we all do. The focus is upon God; He has chosen a simple person like her to be the mother of His Son.
Each of us who celebrate with joy our Savior's birth has been favored by our God the same way as Mary. Like her, we deserved nothing but God's wrath, but instead He showers His grace and forgiveness on us through the Christmas Child. And just as Mary was favored to bring the Christ Child into the world, we are favored to bring Christ Jesus to the nations.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You showed us Your favor by calling us by name and making us Your own children through faith in Jesus Christ. Bless us now to share that favor with others as we share Jesus' story. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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