By Pastor Andy Plank
A Blessing for All!
December 18, 2022 . . .
When the angel, Gabriel, came to Mary, he told her that in God’s eyes she was “Blessed” and “Highly favored”. When Mary visited Elizabeth, Elizabeth told her she was “Highly favored among women”. While we might think that is an honor, and it is, it got me thinking. For Mary, Blessed and Highly favored meant almost getting divorced before she ever actually got married. It meant ridicule from the people of Bethlehem because you have to admit, the “virgin birth” thing was pretty hard to swallow. The blessed and highly favored one had to lay down on the dirt floor of a barn and give birth to her firstborn son (from the previously mentioned virgin conception). Then, while the child was still very young, the blessed and highly favored one had to get up and leave in the middle of the night and go to another country because the king wanted to kill her Son. Then, some thirty years later, this blessed and highly favored woman watched helplessly as her Son was nailed to a Roman cross and crucified. Could it be that our idea of favor and blessing are different from God’s? Could it be that blessing is sometimes disguised as difficulty and favor sometimes looks like failure? In our world of prosperity, wealth, and instant gratification, when we suddenly take a financial hit or get a discouraging diagnosis from the doctor, we feel like we aren’t blessed or favored any more. Can I remind us that when we trusted Jesus as our Savior, we became family of the King, and not just any King, we are family of the King and Creator of the universe. According to Ephesians 1, we have been given every spiritual blessing that God has. When times get hard as they sometimes do, we can find blessing in the heaviness of our hardship and favor while we are digging through our difficulty. Mary learned those lessons in her lifetime, but as she looked to her Son, her Savior, she realized she truly was blessed and highly favored. How long has it been since you looked at your Savior, beloved favored one?
Be blessed and be a blessing . . . Bro. Andy