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Highly Favoured - December 16, 2016

 

"HIGHLY FAVOURED"

“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, (Luke 1:34 NIV)

None of us may ever truly know why God chose Mary to be Jesus’ mother.  Mary herself initially questioned the angel when he appeared to her but she did not remain in that place of questioning. I like that!  I want to learn from that.  Too many times, I linger at that stage – questioning….. wondering what if, why, how, why not? You get it – all the questions that creep into our finite minds as we attempt to question an Infinite God.

The angel addressed Mary as “highly favoured” and that troubled her (Luke 1:28-29).  Have you ever wondered why Mary didn’t see herself as “highly favoured”? I certainly have.  And I don’t have the answer but I do have some conjectures. It is fairly safe to say that Mary was an ordinary girl. Historians believe that she would have been as young as 12 years old (or younger) and until this assignment, we do not have any more information about her prior accomplishments.  So what would make her highly favoured in God’s eyes? 

Today, that term is widely used in society especially within the Christian community and even more so among Christian women.  I believe that society has a wrong view of “highly favoured” and not in the way that Mary did. Are you with me on this?

In some Christian circles, highly favoured is thought about in the context of having it all – stuff, position, career, home, family, all in the eyes of how the world defines success.  I caution you to think about how you view or use that term especially if you are using it in reference to the angel’s greeting to Mary.

Look closely at Mary’s life and her response and learn from that.  Mary was humble, pure, obedient and godly.  I believe that her status of being a virgin was symbolic of the point of being pure and her grasp of God’s word at such a young age points to having a heart and mind set on God. (See the similarities in Hannah’s prayers in 1 Samuel 1:11 and 2:1-10). In her overflow of worship, she pours out her heart to God thanking Him for His grace on her. It is so amazing to me to see such a spiritually mature response from young Mary. 

Did you notice that the same angel, Gabriel, also appeared to Zechariah, the priest who would have had the training and experience in all things religious, yet his response was one of doubt.  The text does not exactly elaborate in that manner but it is safe to assume that if the angel silenced Zechariah, then he had good reason. (Luke 1:8-22)

Mary also questioned Gabriel but she didn’t doubt him.  She believed what he said and expressed her faith in that belief. Her faith was honoured. Look at verse 38. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.”

When you question God, is it out of a lack of faith?  Spend some time pondering that.

Mary’s faith was rewarded; not simply nine months later but when she met up with Elizabeth and received confirmation. (Luke 1:44-45)

When God gives you a vision, you ought to tremble because in your own strength you cannot accomplish it. But with God, all things are truly possible.   

  Mary’s faith was further expressed in the words of her beautiful song, now referred to as the “Magnificat” (Luke 1:46-55) to which there have been beautiful musical arrangements and songs.

This Christmas, take another look at the Christmas story reading through the Luke 1 account and imagine it from Mary’s perspective. See the humble, unassuming, obedient young girl who became the mother of our Saviour.  Here is a song that may well have captured Mary’s thoughts to be chosen by God - "Be Born In Me" written by Nichole Nordeman and beautifully sung by Francesca Battistelli.

Then listen to Mary’s song as written by Todd Agnew and performed by Christy Nockels - Magnificat - Mary's Song.  

 Yolande Knight womensministry@arlingtonwoods.ca

 

 

 

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