Luke 1:26-28 (CEB)

Jesus’ birth foretold 26 When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee,27 to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!”

“Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” A different kind of message, wouldn’t you agree? Mary, a teenager, heard this message from an angel of the Lord, who told her she was the “favored one.” What does “favored one” mean? God chose a young virgin girl to give birth to His only son. A young girl living in the Town of Nazareth, engaged to another man, is selected to give birth to Jesus. What would this mean to Joseph? What would it mean to the community at large? Why did God choose me?

Mary was special in God’s eyes. In God’s eyes, Mary truly was the “favored one.” He knew she was strong for her age to withstand the social pressures that were sure to come her way. He knew that Joseph would also be able to stand by Mary and endure the social pressures that were sure to come his way.

All of God’s children are the “favored ones” in some way. God has “favored” each of us a gift that is unique to each of us. He simply asks us to unwrap the gift and use it to HIS GLORY. What better gift can we give to God than to unwrap the gift and use it to HIS GLORY? Are we able to open the gift and respond appropriately? Is the peer pressure too great? Is the social pressure too great?

As you reflect on Christmas this year, take some time to think about the gifts that God has given to you. Ask yourself, “Am I using the gifts that God has favored me with?”

Prayer: Dear God, Open my eyes to see, my ears to hear, and my heart to love as I unwrap your gift that you have favored me with. AMEN.

David Lex

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