“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.’” Luke 1:26-28

Although I have been preparing for this Christmas season since October, we now find ourselves one week away. It may be difficult with all the work parties, church gatherings, celebratory dinners and gift shopping that is going on to feel the presence of the Lord, but our faith calls us into this relationship. Our text even goes a bit further as Mary hears the words “favor” and “the Lord is with you” from the angel Gabriel.

Notice that the angel Gabriel comes to Mary smack dab in the middle of her life. She was engaged and in a life season of anticipating her wedding and marriage to Joseph. I often wonder, what did Mary do, or what was it about her faith, for her to receive such favor from God? I would not have carried this favor with the humility of Mary. I am pretty sure that I would have been boastful–but this is not the season.

This is the season to lean in and hear from God, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” We have heard our names called before: called by a parent when it is time for dinner, called by a child in need of being tucked in, or by a friend in the hope of company. It is my hope that we are able in this season to hear that the favor of the Lord is there for us all. We may just have to slow down and take inventory of all the blessings and favors that are with us.

Prayer: God of favor, we thank you that your unfolding plan of redemption continues. We thank you in all the ways that you call us “favored” and are reminded of Christ’s love and being in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Rev. Kim Priddy is the former FBC minister to missions and community outreach. She’s married to Brent and mother to Ryan, Brad and Kate. She loves and appreciates how First Baptist cares for its neighbor.