Focal passage: Luke 1:26-38
J.R.R. Tolkien was a master storyteller with an incredible imagination. He wrote many wonderful books, including The Hobbit. The story revolves around a hobbit (a small human-like creature) named Bilbo Baggins. Much like his neighbors, Bilbo enjoys good food, peace and quiet.
His life is suddenly turned upside-down when a stranger comes along and invites him on a fantastical journey, full of adventure, danger and treasure. After some convincing, Bilbo accepts his offer and is whisked away on a life-altering adventure. It wasn’t something he had prepared for but something that came to him unplanned.
Mary, much like Bilbo, didn’t expect her life to change so dramatically. She was a young girl from a small town, in a tiny portion of a very large world. Nevertheless, when the angel, Gabriel, appeared to her, he said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). To God, Mary wasn’t insignificant. He chose her to play an important role in His grand plan of redemption.
The angel went on to say, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30). Gabriel used the word “favor” twice. Had Mary done something to deserve this special assignment? Absolutely not. The favor Gabriel expressed was a one-way street. In His sovereignty, God had chosen Mary to bear the savior of the world.
Regardless of who you are or where you come from, God has a purpose for you. God is the one who initiates our journey and prepares our steps.
Mary wasn’t qualified, she had never been a mother or a religious leader, but that didn’t stop God from choosing her. Likewise, God isn’t looking for “qualified” Christians. God will prepare you for whatever He has called you to.
What He does ask for is obedience. Are you going to be obedient to His calling? Whether that’s serving in a kids ministry, at a food pantry or on staff at a church, God will equip you for the task at hand.