This morning in our team prayer time, Mark Burgess shared with us out of Luke 1:26-38 about the birth of Jesus foretold to Mary. Since it’s Christmas, a lot of people are meditating on these passages about the birth of Jesus, so I realize as I contribute a post to the blogosphere the sentiment might be lost on some due to over familiarity, but please give this a thought for your own life.
I realize perhaps I’m reading this passage through a new lens as an expecting father and watching the stages my wife has been going through in her pregnancy up to this point in our 6 months of carrying a child.
What has always impacted me about the story of his birth is not just that his mother gave birth to him immaculately. Nor is it the fact she probably was as young as fourteen years of age.
“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30 NIV)
Verse 30 states that the angel told her not to be afraid but she has found favour with God. This is quite interesting considering the shame in that culture would bring on her for being pregnant out of wedlock before having married her husband. In fact, later on in her pregnancy when it would start to no longer be something she could hide from the observant eye, how could she proceed to tell people she truly still was a virgin? Just how virgin did the Virgin Mary look at 8 months pregnant?
Sometimes God places favour on us and desires to use us as instruments in some way that merely require our obedience. Yet to those around us we appear far from obedient.
Some may say we’re radical, while others may say we’re selfish and doing our own desire when in fact God has called us to do something unique. Job was a man pure in God’s eyes, but yet that didn’t stop his friends from offering their speculation as to why calamity had fallen on him. There was no grid in their minds as to how all these things could have fallen on him unless he had in fact sinned and was incurring the wrath of God on his life.
Likewise, one just does not get pregnant without sexual relations with a man. It would have been perfectly understandable for people to have a difficult time understanding how Mary could truly be pregnant if she hadn’t, you know, done the deed.
“The summary is this; God must overshadow us with the Holy Ghost to fulfill His purposes in the earth. There is no other way. If the poverty of humility is mixed with the purity of virginity and the loving not of your life, in a slavery unto God by our own will, there is nothing that is more flammable in the earth” – Eric Gilmour
What areas of your life has the Lord placed favor on you and yet it seems far from it in the eyes of man?