U is for Unlikely
And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. Luke 1:28-29
Mary was surprised when the angel greeted her and called her favored one. She considered herself the most unlikely person in the world to be visited by an angel with news like this. There really wasn’t anything about her that would make her favored by God.
Mary was a young, unmarried woman in a culture in which men were more important than women. She was unconnected to anyone who was rich or wealthy in terms of social status. She wasn’t related to a well-known family. She was from a small, insignificant place. There was no merit in her person, her place, or her upbringing that caused God to choose her. She acknowledged her own insignificance in her response to the angel.
It’s just like God to reverse the way of the world and do things in an unlikely way. Kent Hughes points out this reversal in three different ways. There is moral reversal. Those who think they are good and superior are actually those who will be shown their inferiority. In Christ, those who are at the bottom socially will be raised up and seated with Christ, while those on thrones will be brought down. In the material/spiritual world, those that recognize their poverty are more likely (though not always) to be able to recognize their need for God.
God does the unlikely to show us that his favor and blessing are not earned or deserved by us, but given to his children out of the goodness of his grace. Thank you God, for showing your favor to Mary and to those who know you!