By Amy Catlin Wozniak
Reading: Luke 1:26-28
Focus Verse(s): Luke 1:28,30
Do you ever wonder what must have been going through Mary’s mind when Gabriel visited her?
Up until that point, she was probably an ordinary teenager. And then one day there was an angel, right there in front of her. I imagine she probably shook her head, closed her eyes tightly, then opened them to be sure she was seeing what she thought she was seeing.
And then Gabriel spoke, saying, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28, NIV). Then he told her she would bear God’s own Son—Jesus Christ.
I can imagine Mary in bed later that night thinking, I have to tell Joseph I am pregnant. I have to tell my family.
Nazareth was a little city. There would be gossip, whispers as she passed by with her expanding tummy.
I’m sure she must have had moments in the dark, where she wondered how it would all work out. Just like we all do.
But the biggest question I wonder about is if she ever thought, Why me? Out of all the women in the world, why was she chosen to bear God’s Son? For years, I was under the impression that God chose Mary because of something righteous in her.
You can’t read Mary’s Song, the “Magnificat” (Luke 1:46-55), and not be astounded by her faith—her obedience. We could all learn about trusting the Lord from her. I always believed that Mary had done something to earn God’s favor. In my search to learn what that was, I learned that in Luke 1:28 the word favored translated means “to receive grace.”
In his book, Mary, What the Bible Really Says, Douglas Connelly says, “Gabriel makes it clear…that Mary was chosen by God as an act of grace. Mary’s blessedness is derived from God’s grace, not from some inherent goodness of her own. Mary will confirm with her own testimony that she, like every other human being, needed a Savior.”
I believe more than any year of my lifetime, 2020 has driven home in my heart the truth I’ve always known but was slow to grasp—I’ll never find my worth in the world.
Like Mary, I need a savior.
In the past when I have focused too much on the me part of that equation I’ve wondered: does my sin keep me from being worthy?
If I linger too long there, the taunting voice will throw lies my way, trying to keep me chained to the sins of my past. In my own power, I am unable to move ahead in obedience (like Mary did!). Without God; I am incapable of stepping into my purpose (again, like Mary did).
In Luke 1:30 Gabriel says, “Mary: you have found favor with God…”
That favor was God’s Grace.
Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus. She was worthy because she was God’s.
When you feel God calling you to step out in faith in some new way and you pause, asking yourself, “Why would God give ME a glorious purpose?“
I pray you will think of Mary and stand boldly on the truth that you are worthy for the same reason she was.
Because YOU belong to God.
* * *
How will you be sharing the good news of Christ’s birth this Christmas season?
Dear Lord, thank you for the example of Mary’s faith. And for forgiveness for our sins found through the Christmas Gift, Jesus.
Please help each person reading this to know, without doubt, that they are worthy, not because of anything worldly that they are but because of Your grace.
As this year ends and a new one dawns, please help each person reading this to walk in their purpose, to share You with the world.
In Jesus’ Name,