Festive Favor

Angels shout it out! The world is all rejoicing, as the story is retold again and again.  Year after year we celebrate, Christmas festus meaning a joyous; holiday, feast day.  What do you feast for on Christmas?  Is it about the distractions of marketing? A home perfectly decorated?  Is about a new toy for the children?  Is it about Santa and such?  These things may contribute to your celebration, however Christmas is a festival of cheer and good news at the birth of the King.  Have you heard?  Have you wondered at the glory of this King?

Christ·mas
noun
1.
the annual Christian festival celebrating Christ’s birth, held on December 25

Christmas is a weary world rejoicing in Christ’s birth.  The favor of God colliding with bone, and breath in stillness and the dark of the womb- the joy of the world is wrapped.

Christmas is God giving favor to the humble.  Her age, young.  Her gender, female.  Her town, Nazareth.  Her position before God, favored.  Wonder with me at the way God chose Mary.  Men would not call her favored, until much later in history.  At that moment favor would complicate EVERYTHING.

fa·vored
adjective
  1. preferred or recommended.
    “she was his favored candidate”
    find favor with, to gain the favor of; be liked by
    Luke 1:26-32 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 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. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

The Son of the Most High, would be held, swaddled, sung over and the celebration would reverberate from the heavens, to the stable, to the palace of Herod, sounding through time, to this day thousands of years later in your home and mine.  One young handmaiden’s favor, would find us favored.  She was chosen, so you would be chosen.  Her response to God’s favor led to the arrival of our King.  And he the Son of God is born to save God’s people from their sins, the perfect gift from the throne of heaven.

Three Kings, exemplify the truth of his name King of Kings and lay their gifts before him, bow low, and worship.
Proverbs 22:1b …favor is better than silver or gold.

The word of God tells us in Luke 2:52 that the King babe grew, into boyhood, and he was favored by both God and man.  From boyhood, to manhood heaven’s preference marks him.  In his role of Savior King, he fulfills ancient scripture and ushers in further good news.

Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Christ came to make all men free.  To gift himself and his righteousness for man’s sin.  To gift grace into your world, into your very life.

2 Corinthians 6:1 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2For he says,
“In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Now is your day of favor.  Mary begins an avalanche of favor to the lowly, to the willing.  Humbly let the festive favor of God rest on you this Christmas.  Yes, gather the family, decorate, give gifts, tell the story again, worship and bow low like the kings of old.  Rejoice favored one, your King has come.

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