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Read Luke 1:28-30. TEXT: And he (the angel) came to her
and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"
But she (Mary) was greatly troubled at the saying, and
tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be"
(Luke 1:28-29).

Advent     Like Zechariah before, Mary is greatly troubled
at this angel's unexpected appearance. She struggles to
understand what kind of message he has come to bring:
will it be good news or bad?

Immediately, the angel assures Mary that she is favored,
and the Lord is with her. In fact, very shortly, the Lord will
be with her in a unique and special way. The Son of God
Himself will become human and dwell within her womb.

But God's favor is not just for Mary, it is for you and me
this Christmas as well. Jesus promised, "If anyone loves
Me, he will keep My Word, and My Father will love him,
and We will come to him and make Our home with him"
(John 14:23b).

But who is worthy of such a favor? Have we done enough,
lived a good enough life to be favored by God? The
answer is no, just as it was for Mary. But notice, the
angel doesn't say, "You have earned favor with God," he
says, "You have found favor with God." Just as God has
shown undeserved kindness and favor to Mary, He shows
it to you and me.

That's what Christmas is all about--God looking on us,
and deciding to send His Son to make everything right
between Him and us. There is absolutely nothing we need
to do--nothing we can do. In His life, death and
resurrection, Jesus has done everything necessary to
remove God's displeasure and win His eternal favor.


Holy Father, it is humbling to think that Your favor rests
upon us in Your Son Jesus. He makes us bold to call upon
You. Help us share His marvelous news with others. In
Jesus' Name. Amen.

(By Rev. Wayne Palmer Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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