The angel Gabriel said to Mary, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28). Hundreds of years had passed since an angel appeared on earth (with Daniel in the lion’s den). I cannot imagine what Mary must have felt when she saw an angel (with clothes so gleaming white and a supernatural countenance). His message must have shattered her dreams of marrying the love of her life, but Gabriel explained everything so Mary understood. Then he encouraged Joseph not to hesitate to take her as his wife.
Mary was not really named “Mary” but “Miriam,” after the older sister of Moses. In Egyptian her name meant “love,” and Miriam’s calling in life was to protect the life of her baby brother as he floated down the Nile River so one day he could grow up to deliver the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt.
In Hebrew the name “Miriam” meant bitterness and rebellion. Mary’s calling in life was to usher in the life of the Messiah, who would save the world from sin, death and Satan. Both meanings find fulfillment in John 3:16: “For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” Yes, God loved the world, but many people did not accept His love.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” His light shines into the darkness of our world to expose the fear, anxiety, anger, malice, corruption and all other kinds of rebellion against a loving Father. He did not come into the world to condemn the world but to save it with His mercy and forgiveness.
THINK ABOUT IT
Miriam was called to protect Moses who would rescue the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. Mary was called to bear the life of Jesus who would save the world from sin. As people who have been redeemed from sin, death and Satan, we are called to follow Jesus in reaching a cold, dark world with His love. Will you let God be born in you? Will you let His love flow through you to those who desperately need it? Begin by reading His word and spending time with Him in prayer. He is always available, and He will partner with you as you make yourself available to serve Him.
PRAY ABOUT IT
Thank you, Holy Lord, for Jesus. Help us to be more like Him–more loving, more caring, more forgiving. In Jesus’ name, Amen.