Affirmation and love

When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you! ” She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom. ”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I haven’t had sexual relations with a man?”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come over you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the one who is to be born will be holy. He will be called God’s Son. Look, even in her old age, your relative Elizabeth has conceived a son. This woman who was labeled ‘unable to conceive’ is now six months pregnant. Nothing is impossible for God.”

Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her. ~Luke 1:26-38 (CEB)

“Gabriel begins as he always begins, as God always begins (since this is God’s message, not Gabriel’s), with the affirmation of God’s creation. ‘Greetings, favored one!’ Gabriel proclaims to Mary. ‘The Lord is with you!’ Before she hears anything else, God wants Mary to hear this: She is favored. . . . Although a teenager, Mary need not ‘find’ herself. Her identity is a gift, bestowed upon her by God alone. Who am I? Mary may wonder. And God replies, ‘You are my favored one, beloved and beautiful to me.’

In truth, Mary does not stand much chance for an identity apart from God. She is too young to have had time to achieve much on which to base her identity. She is too poor to purchase her place in society. Add to this the fact that she is female, which means that even if she did have accomplishments or social stature to her credit, they likely would have gone unrecognized because of her gender. All of this makes Mary a most unlikely candidate for helping God save the world, which is precisely why God enlists her. Nothing about Mary suggests that she can be who she is apart from God’s favor of her.” ~From The Godbearing Life by Kenda Creasy Dean and Ron Foster

I am not who I am based on my achievements. I am who I am based upon who I am in Christ. There is much value in taking the time to figure out who I in Christ. Being familiar with scriptures will help me to know who I am. Then when I am faced with what the world thinks of me I have God’s assurances tucked away in my heart. I can hold my head up high because I know who I am and I that I am loved.

Thank You O Lord, for Your assurances. Thank You for Your love that lives in my heart. Amen.

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