Reading: Luke 1: 26-30
Verse 30: “Do not be afraid… you have found favor with the Lord”.
Out of the blue, an angel visits Mary. Her first reaction is what I think mine would be: fear. The angel greets her and then tells her that the Lord is with her. Maybe her fears subsided a bit knowing that God was with her. In that moment, though, Mary must have really been wondering what would be coming next. I would be!
Our passage tells us that Mary was “troubled” – again, a reaction I think most of us would have if an an angel appeared to us. At a minimum, if I am being honest, knowing that I was on the brink of something big, I would be really troubled. While it is probably quite exciting when an angel comes for a visit (I assume it is), there is also the scary recognition that things are about to change pretty seriously.
The angel then says to Mary, “Do not be afraid… you have found favor with the Lord”. The first part is good to hear, but the second part is great to hear. Mary has found favor with God! Hallelujah! Praise be! Amen! Yes, it is indeed wonderful to know that she has found favor with God. While in this setting it is particularly good news for Mary, our reality is that this is good news for us as well. As followers of Jesus Christ, we have all found favor with God.
In the book The Shack, the lead character Mac and God have frequent conversations. Most of the time when the conversation is about people in Mac’s life, they are people that he could do without. Each and every time God says, “Oh yes, I am especially fond of that one”. Every time. Although it is just a fictional book, I believe this part to really be true. God is especially fond of every human being because we are all children of God. He loves us all. And some – those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior – have found favor with God. Talk about good news! Hallelujah and amen!