Monday, December 15, 2008

Highly favoured?

This advent, as our church has been paying particular attention to Luke ch1 I’ve been struck by the Angel’s words of greeting to Mary as one who is ‘highly favoured’.

Yet I bet Mary didn’t feel so highly favoured when people whispered about her pregnancy. I doubt she felt highly favoured when she became the centre of a sex scandal and when everyone felt she had dishonoured her family and religion.
She wouldn’t feel highly favoured at the pain of becoming a refugee and moving in fear of her life. The heartache of losing her husband while the children were still growing up wouldn’t feel like high favour. Her agony, when her first-born son got executed as a criminal by one of the cruellest and most painful forms of death ever invented, wouldn’t feel like divine blessing.

Which just goes to show that being highly favoured by God doesn’t mean it all goes well, being blessed by God doesn’t mean all your problems disappear. Neither does God being gracious to you mean that you enjoy health, wealth and happiness for the rest of your life.
Mary was highly favoured because she was an instrument of God’s salvation; blessed because she had the opportunity to play a part in God’s unfolding plan and purpose in the world. Mary was given the opportunity to be the Mother of the Incarnate Son of God.

The remarkable thing is that this young girl says ‘yes’ to God. Whatever her fears and insecurities, regardless of her uncertainty and perplexity, she willingly plays her part in this history changing moment.

Perhaps this advent as we wait on God we might ponder the implications of divine favour, mull over opportunities to play a part in God’s purpose and prepare to embrace God’s call afresh.


lynn said...

love this. Its speaking very personally to me. Thanks so much.

Julie said...

Me too