The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28)
At some universities, first-year students are accustomed to hazing from the other classes as a rite of initiation. Occasionally, when the bullying goes wrong, a member of the initiating group will object and yell, “No, grace!” If not, shouts of “No grace!” will echo through the place, and the freshmen will continue to suffer the harassment.
On two occasions, the angel Gabriel mentioned the grace God had bestowed upon Mary (see Luke 1:28, 30). The angel revealed the sex, the name, and the mission of the child to be born to Mary. He did the same when he was announcing the birth of John the Baptist (see Luke 1:13–17). The difference is that Zechariah and Elizabeth were old and could not give birth anymore, whereas Joseph and Mary were in the prime of life. Whether they were old or young, God showed them his grace.
To bear the Savior of the world, many people would have drawn up a list of criteria to fulfill, some tougher than others. However, God had his heart set on this modest young girl and chose Mary by grace. When many would shout, “No grace!” God declares, “No, grace!”
God’s amazing grace is not tied to any criteria set by humans. When you feel worthless, cling to its source in Jesus Christ. His verdict will always be, “No, grace!”
Think about the last time you experienced grace.
Handy Calixte is an ordained pastor of L’Église Wesleyenne d’Haïti and likes writing about various biblical topics. He and his wife, Johane, have three children.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.