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Jesus, God of Gracious Condescension

And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”

Luke 1:28

Watch session one: Jesus responds to our need

As stories go, everything about Mary’s seemed impossible. It seemed impossible that, after four hundred years of silence, God would send a messenger to a young girl probably no more than fifteen years old. It seemed impossible that a girl would find fa – vor with God. And it seemed impossible that through a virgin would come “the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32).

It certainly seemed impossible to Mary.

an ordinary girl

It’s hard to picture it—an ordinary Mary. A Mary without a glowing halo. A Mary without that expression of demure solemnity we’ve come to associate with her virginity. But the truth is, Mary was just that: ordinary—a noname girl from a no-name town, living in an insignificant corner of the Roman Empire. Still, we struggle to accept her ordinariness.

“But Mary was humble,” we object. Or, “She was holy,” we tell ourselves.

No matter how we put it, we all do it. We buy into the idea that God chose Mary because there was something about her that made her extraordinary. Something that made her worthy of God’s notice. Something that made her special. But that’s not the picture of Mary we get from the Gospel of Luke. Far from it. When Gabriel appeared to Mary and called her “favored,” when he exclaimed, “the Lord is with you,” Mary didn’t know what to do with it. Surely Gabriel had made a mistake. Surely he’d gotten the wrong girl. Mary, the gospel writer tells us, “was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be” (Luke 1:29). Mary’s story seemed impossible. It seemed impossible to her, and it should seem impossible to us—but that, of course, is precisely the point.

but for grace

Mary’s story is impossible. But for grace. It’s easy to come to Mary’s story and be so overcome by the miracle of the Virgin Birth that we forget about the miracle of grace. We forget that it was grace that sent Gabriel with a message of good news to a no-name town under Roman subjugation. We forget that it was grace that looked on Mary, an unimpressive, ordinary girl, with favor. And we forget that it was grace, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that made it possible for a virgin girl to bear the very Son of God—Jesus, the rescuer of humankind. Grace is the outpour – ing of God’s condescension, the bridge that connects the ordinary and the impossible. It did in Mary’s life, and it does in our own.

We live within the limitations of our ordinariness. Maybe we have ordinary skills. Maybe we have ordinary jobs. Or maybe we have ordinary relationships. But we can find comfort in knowing that the same grace that moved in Mary’s life is the grace that moves in ours. It is the grace of a God who bends to look on us with favor. It has nothing to do with us and who we are, but everything to do with Jesus and who he is.

It is because of grace that Gabriel could say to Mary, “Nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). And it is because of grace that God says the same to us.


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Miracles of Jesus

Daily Question

Do you really believe God graces the ordinary? Or are there places you strive to be better than ordinary in order to earn God’s grace?

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Comments (10)

I absolutely believe that God graces the ordinary. My weakness is not taking the time to ask which in return hinders my reward. Feeling too distant and distracted or tired to commit to a daily connection with God leaving me to feel empty and ashamed.

God built his kingdom on and for the ordinary. His disciples were ordinary everyday people who HE chose to build HIS church

Yes, I belive He gives grace to the ordinary because alot of the people in the Bible were ordinary. Abraham, Ester, David, ect.

I do believe that God graces the ordinary. I know that there is nothing I could ever say or do to ‘earn’ God’s Grace. We have all been chosen by God for a specific purpose, whether He has revealed that purpose to us or not. My goal is to try and shine a light in my ordinary life and allow God to be glorified through me. To open my heart and mind and be ready for the time He chooses to reveal himself to me.

God can grace anyone. That I believe. I think I may forget that o can be part of the “anyone” too. I am striving to be in his grace through feeling connected to him. I haven’t felt connected in a while and that’s why I’m starting this study today! I have lost home in Gods grace in certain areas of my life and I hope this step will bring me closer to regaining hope again!

I have struggled with this for my whole life. I sometimes feel like I have to do certain things, or be a certain way to earn Gods grace in my life. I have to really dig in and understand that it’s given to me freely, not by what I do, but what he has done for me. This was a great reminder for me to today that I don’t control the Grace he has for me. Excited to start this study!

I feel like this is something I still struggle with is feeling the need to be perfect for God and as a Christian and feeling the pressure from other Christian women that when I fall short and struggle with sin and am far from perfect feel like I’m not Good enough for God and am at a point where I think I thought to myself why bother…I’ve been through a lot of pain and condemnation the past few years from others and felt like my light and fire was snuffed out that I was too far gone for God or anyone to love me. God told me to hold on to verse Isaiah 1:18, which has helped me in the past and to memorize that verse.

Grace is freely given not earned. God graces those he loves. Actions are not worthless but God looks on the heart of the ones he loves and provides the grace needed to cover their sins. I believe God graces everyone the ordinary and unique all the same. We all should strive for more than ordinary but in Mary’s case we see God isn’t necessarily looking for the big, loud evangelist but a faithful servant the ordinary.

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