“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:26-28)
One thing we learn here is that Gabriel gets around. He appears to be God’s chief messenger. When he shows up it is time to listen. Gabriel tells Mary that God has been watching her and is moved by her faithfulness. He has a special attachment to her. He knows that she is a woman after His own heart. She is a woman who can be trusted to carry out His wishes. She is one He can count on to raise His Son in a hostile world. He is indeed, with her in a powerful way with His blessing and grace.
What an honor it would be to be either Gabriel or Mary. To be one of these faithful is hard to imagine. We might say we are shown here perfect obedience from both the angelic host and the human creation. God looks upon us with favor also, because we know about the Cross. That event, begun with Jesus’ birth, and culminating with His death for us, is the most favored act of God toward us. We are favored to be His children through faith because He chose to be with us.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your favor that has chosen us to be part of Your Forever Family. What a blessing to be part of that great angelic army of heaven and host of believers gone before us like Mary. You are with us and that is the security we need for now and eternity. Praise Your Holy Name! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn and a guest columnist.