Presence and Affection
The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
- Luke 1:28
These words turned Mary’s life upside down. God chose to bless Mary and to be present in her life. He didn’t stand at a distance from her. He didn’t look upon her with scorn or anger or disappointment. The Lord was with her. And the Lord liked her.
Presence and affection. This is what love looks like.
Don’t settle for a theology that tells you a lot about God’s presence – “he’s fully present in all places at all times” – but neglects to mention his affection. God’s disposition to Mary was one of extraordinary favor. He wanted her to be a part of his family and a part of his story. And he wants the same for us.
Don’t settle for a story about God that tells you a lot about God’s affection – “Jesus loves you this you should know for the Bible tells you so, so, so” – but ignores his presence. Too many of us wander lost in a fog imagining that the God who loves us lives up in the clouds and can’t be experienced or trusted. God wanted to be as close to Mary as is physically possible, to live inside her and depend on her. And, in a way, we’re invited to share this same intimate connection with God through his Holy Spirit.
Which of these is easier for you to believe: that God is with you or that he likes you? What impact would it make in your life if you could grow in your belief in God’s affection and presence?