The Lord is With You

The usual Jewish greeting was “Peace be with You.” Therefore, when the angel Gabriel greeted Mary with the words, “You’re highly favoured” and further added, “The Lord is with you,” the Bible says, “Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting that might be.”  When it dawned on her that she was truly highly favoured because she would be the mother to the Messiah, God’s promised Saviour who would lead people into eternity, her response was, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke: 1:26-38)

 Mary’s praise song in Luke 1:46-55 tells us something about why God chose this young, unmarried, mapalo compound (JHP)-073poor girl for such an enormous task. These characteristics would make her seem unfit to people of her day no less than to many of us today. In her song she not only sees God as a champion of the poor, the oppressed and the despised, but she also glorifies Him for what He is going to do for the world through the baby who is the King whose Kingdom will never end.

 Today in our churches we have many people like Mary who feel that their abilities, experiences, or education makes them unlikely candidates for God’s service. They are young, unmarried, unemployed or orphaned, and because of these things they think there is something wrong with them because the only message they are hearing is that God’s favour automatically brings instant success or fame. Yet Mary’s blessing didn’t fit this program. In fact, Mary’s blessing lead to much pain: her fiancé came close to leaving her, her peers mocked her and looked down on her, and her son was ultimately rejected and murdered. Yet in all of this Mary was obedient to God, waited patiently, and trusted God to finish His plan.

 This week as we mourn the great son of Africa, Nelson Mandela, let us remember that God chose a humble woman for one of the most important acts of obedience the world has ever known. Indeed through the baby she would carry would come the world’s only true hope. Also, next time you preach about God’s favour, please do not limit it to the car you can drive, how many houses you can own or how much money you can have in your bank account. Extend your preaching to call the young, the unmarried, the unemployed and the orphans to answer God’s call on their lives. Through them, we will reach the unchurched, provide leadership to our nation, raise godly families and care for God’s creation. Yes, we have several “Marys’” in our church today! Will you be the angel Gabriel to them and let them know that they are highly favoured and the Lord is with them?

 Lawrence Temfwe