Greetings fellow sojourners and a joyous noel to you!
“The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:28
The angel went to her and told her words God wanted her to know. What a powerful proclamation. Mary is highly favored (charitoō) because she is the recipient of God’s grace. What an altogether lovely and unique grace which was bestowed upon Mary! Perhaps what you did not know is that Ephesians 1:6 tells us “to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored (charitoō) us with in the Beloved.” This favoring grace spoken of in Ephesians towards you and me is the same Greek word used to describe the grace bestowed upon Mary in the Luke verse. Incredible!
Some scholars suggest Luke implies that a certain grace was found in Mary’s character. While this might be true, the comparable verse in Ephesians communicates that the grace in view here is that which is given all believers apart from any merit of their own. Amen.
When we sing the song or wish someone a joyous noel, we are following Gabriel’s example by announcing good news. This good news is the forgiveness of sins for all who have faith in Jesus Christ of Nazareth! The angel Gabriel announced to Mary the coming of Jesus and his first recorded word to her was “Greetings!” or “Rejoice!” (Luke 1:28). We rejoice because into our less than perfect and even broken circumstances we swing the doors of our homes wide and welcome in the Savior who has power over everything.
Rejoice in the Lord brethren because you are highly favored. Yes, again I say, “Rejoice!”
A Joyous Noel to you,