Graced from the Beginning

Graced from the Beginning

December 21

Read: LUKE 1:26-38

The story of the angel telling Mary that “the Son of the Most High” will be born through her is so familiar that I’m often tempted to gloss over it and get right to Christmas, to the shepherds and all heaven rejoicing. But something new struck me this time: the angel called Mary “favored one.” On the surface, this makes it sound like God chose Mary because she deserved it, because she was a good person, a model citizen. But no! The word translated as “favor” actually means “grace.” Grace means unmerited favor—favor that is undeserved and can’t be earned.

In my inner world of meritocracy, this can be a tough concept to understand. I want to earn my place and prove that I’m worthy. But God has other plans! Immanuel, “God with us,” reminds us how God reveals God’s self in us—with grace.

Master, help me embrace your grace in every breath, thought, action, and moment you have graced to me. AMEN.

About the Author

Alice Lee | Arriving at the “gold mountain” at seven years old as a “stranger and alien” and taking ESL in my adopted homeland, I found my home and true inheritance when I entered into the eternal life relationship with Jesus (John 17:3) at the age of thirteen and gave my life to him. I had the privilege of being the first in my family to finish college, earning a BA in psychology. Then I went on to receive a master’s degree in Christian education from Dallas Theological Seminary. I am immensely blessed to partner in life and ministry with my husband, Ed, for the past thirty-six years. Together with our children (Matthew, Melissa, and Anthony Emerson) we serve at Mosaic—an intentionally diverse church— in Sugar Land, Texas, so that we the church reflect the one triune God and his heart for all people. When free, I’m learning to be nana to our granddaughter, Zoe Grace, or growing our garden.

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