Friday, May 31, 2019

A positive greeting: Luke 1:28

In the narrative of the angel appearing to Mary to announce that she would bear the son of God, the angel announces himself to her by saying, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28) What is interesting in this greeting is that, in the Greek, the word translated here as “Greetings” is the Greek verb meaning to rejoice and is spoken here as an imperative which, in the Greek, is a command or exhortation. The angle was not simply saying “Hello” to Mary, he was commanding, or exhorting, her to rejoice! His greeting was focused on her and was intended to remind her of God’s favor and blessings in her life and to exhort her to rejoice in the reality of these blessings.

This scripture makes me think of those people I’ve met who are the exact opposite of this angle. When you encounter them, they project a lack of joy and a sense of defeat and despair. They are like Eeyore, whose greeting went something like this, “Good morning… if it is… which I doubt!” They are so consumed with their own problems that they never consider how their greeting could be used to encourage someone else and to be a reminder to them to rejoice in the Lord. They are inward focused and project that focus towards others. This is not to say that we should be hypocritical in our greetings of others, but the truth is that there is always a reason to rejoice in the blessings and favor of God, regardless of how we might feel.

This scripture causes me to ask myself, “When I meet other people, am I a blessing to them, or do I burden them with my own cloudy disposition? In greeting people, do I lift them up or drag them down?” Sometimes, the key to blessing others is to learn to be positive and encouraging when we greet them.

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