26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to
Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named
Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to
her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and
wondered what kind of greeting this might be.
Today, we started our Christmas adventure with the appearance of the angel Gabriel. I always thought that the appearance of an angel would be quite a startling experience. What would you do if suddenly an angel stood in front of you? I might run and hide right at that moment. Interestingly, this passage does not say that Mary was frightened or even startled at the angel’s appearance. It says she was “greatly troubled at his words.”
I have wondered why she would be troubled at his words. I might feel pretty good about myself, if an angel called me highly favored. “The Lord is with you,” sounds like encouragement to me. The angel of the Lord did tell Gideon, “The Lord is with you.” Then he told Gideon to take on the Midianite Army (Judges 6). Wow! Did Mary know God was going to use her to do something great from the way the angel greeted her? Could that be why she was troubled by seemingly positive words?
God calls each of us to do great things beyond our own ability. He knows we need encouragement to get the job done, so He makes sure we know that He thinks highly of us. Of course, we cannot fulfill God’s call on our own. He wants us to know that He is with us. If God is giving you encouragment today, He probably has a job for you tomorrow.
Consider yourself highly favored and ready to serve a King.
The reading for December 2 is Luke 1:30-33