And he [Gabriel] 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. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God." (Luke 1:28-30)
Mary had the same kind of reaction a lot of us do when an authority figure comes to see us. At school, the dean or principal says, "Would you please step into my office?" and our worries go wild. At work, the top boss says, "I'd like a word," and we wonder if that word is "fired."
That's natural, I suppose. We aren't used to getting good news from important people. We know our faults, and we immediately think "I'm in trouble."
But not this time. The angel reassures her. "Don't be afraid, Mary," he says, "you have found favor with God." God doesn't want to blame you for anything. He wants to give you something!
And that something is Jesus—God's own Son, our Savior who loves us. God is giving us the best gift ever, because Jesus is the One who will take away all our sin—and all the fear and guilt that it causes us. Through His life, death, and resurrection, He will set us free from all this bad stuff, and give us the joy of being children of God.
Now we don't have to be afraid when God says to us, "I would like a word with you." We can respond as much loved children, and say, "I welcome You!"
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, help me to be glad and not afraid when You call me, because I know that in Jesus You have freed me from evil. Amen.
* Are you comfortable or uncomfortable when "higher-ups" in your life want to talk to you?
* Tell about a time when you expected trouble and got something good instead.
* What makes you uncomfortable with God? What makes you comfortable with Him?
Advent Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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