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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 (11)

I believe that God graces the ordinary and the bible shows us many examples of that. But, deep down I think I still strive to "be good" and earn God’s grace. I was brought up this way and even though I have grown so much spiritually, this thought is still with me. With my children, I’m trying to teach them that God’s grace is freely given to all who believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior so when they get older they, hopefully, won’t have a hard time understanding it like I do now.

God graces all his people! I don’t think you have to be better than ordinary, it’s what you choose to do with it.

God’s grace is for everyone, if they accept it. Though Mary was an ordinary girl living in the Roman Empire, she had to accept God’s grace. We don’t have to be ordinary, a celebrity, or a leader to receive this grace. It is simply given to us.

I, personally, struggle at times to feel like I am deserving of God’s grace. When I fail to have quiet time or pray (mom life keeps me busy), I question my worthiness. Then I stress myself out trying to catch back up with everything I feel I should be doing to earn God’s grace, that I forget to remember that I don’t have to do anything, I just have to accept the grace that God gives freely. That’s something I want to get better at.

I believe Gods grace is for everyone. I dont think people are ordinary, I think everyone is unique. God will grace anyone open to receiving it.

Yes, God graces the ordinary because He graces me. I strive to be better than ordinary not to earn His grace but because I want to give Him my best.

I think I forget to look for God in the ordinary, because my first thought is always, "How can I fix this?"
I wish my first thought was, "Well, God, what are You going to do with THIS

My first thought usually is, "How can I fix it?"
I wish my first thought were, "Well, God, what are You going to do with THIS?"
I forget about grace…and mercy…and love…and friendship.
I forget I don’t need to be better than ordinary.
I just need to be His.

Amen Gayle! He can pick us up and put us where ever HE wants us in the blink of an eye. He uses us ordinary ladies everyday! Thanks for sharing.

I believe that God will always be there for every believer. Ephesians 2:5, states, ‘…by grace are ye saved.’

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