Author Fred Buechner tries to imagine the thoughts of the angel Gabriel as he delivers the message to Mary. “She struck him as hardly old enough to have a child at all, let alone this child. But he had been entrusted with a message and that’s what angels do—deliver messages. ‘You mustn’t be afraid Mary,’ said Gabriel, and as he said it, he only hoped she wouldn’t notice that beneath the great golden wings he himself was trembling with fear to think that the whole future of salvation hung on the answer of that little girl.”
Mary, “you are highly favored.” To be highly favored in a race means you are likely to win. To be highly favored in an election means friends and followers actively support you. To be highly favored by God means that you are chosen for a partnership that fulfills the will of God on earth as it is in heaven. God chooses Mary.
Do you ever wonder if God would choose you? Ever wonder if there is really meaning and purpose to be found in life? Ever wonder what God has chosen you for? I imagine we all have at one time or in some way.
At least once during the holidays I like to watch Frank Capra’s classic movie, It’s a Wonderful Life. You know the story. Jimmy Stewart, in the person of George Bailey, envisions a life of adventure and travel, building highways and designing modern cities. Instead, he spends his life trying to keep the Bailey Building and Loan afloat in Bedford Falls. When his Uncle Billy loses $8,000 just as the bank examiner arrives, George despairs of faithfulness. Sitting at a bar on Christmas Eve he asks God for help. That’s when Clarence the Angel comes to show George what the world might have been like without him.
God has a way of weaving His will into the lives of ordinary people who are willing to follow. Whether it is Gabriel or Clarence, I hope you receive such a message this Christmas.