“And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’” Luke 1:30-33
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20
Can you even begin to imagine what it would have been like to be Mary? Behind the fear, the confusion, and the bewilderment- there must have been pure excitement. God had chosen HER- out of everyone! Just a normal teenage girl, God had chosen HER for the greatest task of all: to carry Jesus into the world.
The scripture says that Mary had found “favor” with God. For a long time, I thought that Mary was the best and that’s why she had been chosen. She must have made really good grades, had her quiet time every morning, never thought anything mean about a friend, and never talked back to her parents. Why else would God have chosen her?
It turns out God’s favor over Mary’s life, over our life, had nothing to do with Mary and everything to do with God. Because of Christ, we don’t have to be good enough to earn God’s love and blessing. His grace comes free to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus- all we have to do is believe!
Did you know that God also show’s this same favor on each one of us? Just as Mary was tasked with carrying Jesus into the world 2000 years ago- God has given us the assignment today: to be “god carriers” in our world.
Before Jesus ascended into heaven after the resurrection, His last words were a commandment, a commission: for His disciples to go and make disciples of all people. You see the gospel doesn’t end with us- to truly know the love of Jesus is to share the love of Jesus freely.
Thankfully, God doesn’t leave this enormous task for us to do on our own. He sent the Holy Spirit to guide us and to live in us—He has really made us carriers of God! He doesn’t hold us responsible with tasks of changing peoples hearts- He is the only one who can do that, but He has given us the privilege of playing a part in His unfolding story: to bring the love and freedom of Jesus into this world through our lives.