I listened to Wayne Fisher’s newly released anthem entitled “Jesus Christ Is Born.” I may not have a trained ear but I know when music is well done.  Obviously, it’s a Christmas anthem and by now I should be “well over” Christmas. Really, Christmas was 177 news cycles ago in fact twelve days ago (which I do know what you get on the twelfth day – a lot of drummers drumming. Sometimes I just can’t stop myself.) The anthem drew me back into the Christmas drama, particularly the poignant line when the angel said to Mary, “you have found favor with God.” This got me thinking: what does it mean to be favored by God? I can assure you, I have not thought much about how God favors me. It is not a word I routinely use. But then a visit from Nicole (not her real name) a mother struggling with her children, addiction and a lack of fulfilling work, I was reminded there are people who don’t expect God to favor them because they don’t believe they are worthy enough.  For some, there is a deep sense of unworthiness that is prevalent and that sense of unworthiness impacts how they respond to the possibility of receiving God’s favor.  Nicole finds it easier to harbor malicious beliefs that bombard her internal self with insults, criticisms and self- doubt. You can call it low self-esteem, shame, or the inner critic. Whatever you name it, what comes out is unworthiness. I literally failed at lessening Nicole’s conviction of her unworthiness. It’s substantially engrained in her. I can do only so much and she didn’t want or deserve a lecture about how she is created to live in God’s favor when it was just about gas money. Yes, I did and off she went – as one who is favored. The notion of being favored lingers. My invitation is simply the question: How is God favoring you?

Scripture Reading: Matthew 25:40
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands—.”

Reflection Question:
What causes a sense of unworthiness?
What is the difference between being favored and being blessed by God?
How is God favoring you?

Prayer: Holy God, help lessen the impacts of my beliefs which cause unworthiness to enter, nudging me off the path and away from your intended purpose for my life. Help me recognize your favor of me.  Amen