And he came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. (Luke 1:28-29)
Mary was greatly troubled by the angel's greeting. Well, who wouldn't be? There she was, probably doing her daily work in her mother's house—cooking, cleaning, carrying water, just like any other day. Then suddenly an angel comes in, and says, "Greetings, O favored one!"
Favored one? There she was, an ordinary girl in a nondescript town in the backlands of Galilee. She might have been holding a broom or a cooking spoon at that very moment. She knew she was nobody special. Favored one? Had the angel got a wrong number?
But he explained right away. "The Lord is with you," he said. It is as if the angel said, "You belong to God, and He is pleased with you, and you are never apart from Him. And soon He will be with you in an entirely new way—as a human baby developing inside your own body." Favored? Oh, yes!
We too are favored, and for the same reason. Not because we are anybody special, but because the Lord Himself is with us. He has chosen to be with us—to become a human baby, to grow up to save us through His suffering and death, and to rise again. He has joined Himself to humanity forever, and He will never desert us.
Specifically, He has joined Himself to you—for you are a baptized child of God who trusts in Jesus and belongs to Him forever. Yes, you are favored. The Lord of everything has drawn you close to Him.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me realize that You are always with me. Bring me closer to You in trust and love. Amen.
* Who do you spend the most time with in your daily life? Why?
* What are some ways you see that God has favored you?
* How does it make you feel to realize that God wants you—you, yourself—and has laid down His life to make you His?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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