“30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”
Mary, a young woman, a virgin, who was engaged to Joseph, a carpenter, was visited by an angel, a messenger of God. She was afraid. We would have been afraid too.
The angel told her that she had found favor with God. Most of the time we think that this is a good thing.
In this case, God’s favor was a double edged sword. It meant that Mary was to bear a special child, a child who would be called Son of the Most High, the Son of God. It would also mean that she would be pregnant with a child that was not Joseph’s. This meant that she would put her engagement with him at risk, and also risk public ridicule and disgrace.
God’s blessings are not always easy or easily understood. But sometimes the redemption of the world hangs in the balance.
May the love of Christ be with you,
Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)