There's Something About Mary
Something About Mary
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28
I would suspect that most of us want to be known as highly favored by God. But have you ever wondered if Mary felt very favored and blessed? Did she feel favored months later as she walked through town with her unwed pregnant belly the subject of stares and judgement? And what about when Joseph planned to quietly leave her and avoid the scandal?
Or did she feel blessed while giving birth on the ground among the animals of the manger? I’m sure there wasn’t a sense of favoring when she and Joseph had to flee for their lives to Egypt. And especially not when she had to watch her son, the one to whom she gave life, being arrested, beaten and killed… that doesn’t sound much like being highly favored or blessed.
God’s favor and blessing do not necessarily mean our lives will be easy, or we’ll always get our way, or that we’ll live happily ever after. It’s not God’s reward for right behavior or right believing. It’s rather a state, a condition, or a way of being. Mary’s “yes” to God is not the source of or reason for her favoring and blessing. Rather, her favoring and blessing ARE the source and origin of and the means by which she CAN say “yes”.
Mary understands that her favoring and blessing by God are not dependent upon or determined by the circumstances of life. So often we look at what is going on around us, the circumstances of our lives, and then declare ourselves or someone else to be blessed or not. Mary, however, teaches us to look and live more deeply… to look beyond the circumstances of life and see God within us.
It means trusting that God sees more for and about us than we often see for ourselves. That’s what Mary did even as she asked, “How can this be?” She trusted God more than her life’s situation. She felt the movement of God within her, the kick of new life, and the growth of something holy. The favoring and blessing of God wasn’t around her… it was within her. It is who she is. It is also who we are.
We too are favored and blessed but we must look deeper than the changing circumstances of our lives. Even when we don’t see it or understand it, God is deep within us, working secretly, creating new life where we thought there couldn’t be any.
The announcement to Mary is nothing less than God’s invitation for us to participate in God’s favoring and blessing of our lives.
Yes, there’s something about Mary… but there’s also something about us too.
Have a blessed day!