Over time, I have dreamt or visualized a variety of situations where someone comes knocking on my door. I'm sure you know what I mean, or not? Remember when Ed McMahon would show up and knock on people's door and tell them "Congratulations! You're Publisher's Clearinghouse Grand Prize Winner!" Some of those folks would almost fall over and others had no reaction. I always got a kick out of seeing that on TV! I know many people have had that dream. And I've had the not so nice versions of the unexpected knock as well, like the police or the dreaded IRS, and even Satan.
But imagine a complete stranger showing up in your home with: "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." Luke 1:28
How would that one line change your life forever? What will be expected of me now? What did I do to earn or deserve such favoritism?
This is exactly what the angel Gabriel said to Mary in his explanation of her pending birth of the son of the Most High. She learned of the plan for her to give birth to a son, and he is to be named Jesus. Imagine what went through her mind in those moments! What an amazing, glorious gift she received! What responsibility she had been given. Pregnancy itself is difficult enough without knowing you are carrying the divinely created Son of God. Why Mary?
After much prayer my answer is this: she was obedient. God doesn't ask a whole lot of us, but he does ask that we be obedient to his word. I have to believe that her favor was based on her servant's heart and her willingness to obey the Lord. She must also have been a woman of great character to be given such a daunting task and being able to follow through on her word. A woman of lesser character may have traveled the countryside seeking fame and fortune while sharing her story of being a virgin mother to the Son of God. If it were today, she might be on Oprah or Maury, or any one of those self-aggrandizing shows if her character was weak.
She also must have had great trust in God to believe Gabriel and the bewildering message he brought her. Complete, almost blind, trust in God. Only a mother could have that kind of trust, that strong of faith. Mary's life, even under a microscope, was obviously pure, clean and dependant on God.
So in these last few days before we celebrate her giving birth to our Lord, I want to spend time thinking about what I might have to do or how I may have to be, in order for an angel of the Lord to say to me, "Greetings you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."