Advent 2017 Devotional - Dec. 4
Picture the smallest, least important backwater town you’ve ever seen. Nazareth was that kind of place at the time of this story. Mary was probably no older than fourteen, given what we know of Israel’s marriage customs then. We read this story with a sense of anticipation (“it’s Christmas!”). But Mary had no reason at all to expect Gabriel’s astounding news. The angel said to Mary, “Greetings, you who are highly favored!”But that didn't mean tinsel and bright lights, much less luxury and comfort. Mary’s “favored” life brought her great challenges—starting with explaining her pregnancy to her fiancé and (probably) her parents. Do you sometimes wish God’s favor toward you meant only happiness and ease? How does Mary’s life show the sacrifices God’s favor may call for? What Would you look for if you had to choose the Messiah’s mother?Why would God choose Mary? One major sign lies in her reply to the angel: “I am the Lord’s servant…. May your word to me be fulfilled.” How can you respond to God as she did?