Highly Favored

The angel said to her,
“Rejoice,
highly favored one,
The Lord is with you;
Blessed are you!”

And soon after,
She was forced to travel
80 miles
As a pregnant woman,
Then give birth in a
Smelly,
Cold,
Stable,
Meant for Animals.
And not long after–
With a small child–
Their lives were threatened,
And they were
Exiled to a strange land–
Where their ancestors
Worked so hard to leave.

Later, this highly favored woman,
Would see her firstborn son beaten,
And tortured,
And killed in a gruesome way.

And her affinities to her son,
And belief in His resurrection,
Led to her joining
A small band of rebels,
Whose lives
Were perpetually endangered.
And she died,
We know not how,
But surely in the poverty
That she’d known
Her whole life.


And the angel, Gabriel, said,
“O Daniel…
you are greatly beloved.”

Strange words
For a man
Who spent 70 years in captivity,
Threatened with death,
Twice.
Once,
In a den of
Ravenous Lions.
And who would never know life
Outside of exile.


And the Holy Spirit called him,
“The disciple whom Jesus loved.”

As such,
John would be
Beaten,
Imprisoned,
And tortured,
For a cause
That was still
Relatively obscure
When he died.


And God said of Paul,
In a vision,
“He is a chosen vessel of mine.
He will bear my Name…
So he must suffer.”

And he did–
In stripes above measure,
In prisons more frequently,
In deaths often.
Beaten,
Stoned,
Shipwrecked thrice,
In perils of water,
Robbers,
His own countrymen,
And more.

Were the words
He penned
To give proof
That he truly was
Appointed by God
As a chosen vessel.


“This is my Son,
In whom I am well pleased.”
Jesus was told.

And as
A well-pleasing son,
He would be terribly
Killed
In the prime of His life.
But first,
He was beaten,
And whipped,
Ridiculed and slandered,
And lived
A life of obscurity
For the first 30 years,
And misunderstood,
For the next few.


And others,
“Highly favored”
Were said to be:
Tortured,
With trials
Of mockings and scourgings,
And of chains and imprisonment.
Stoned,
Sawn in two,
Tempted,
Slain with the sword.
Wandered about,
Destitute,
Afflicted,
Tormented–

Of whom the world was not worthy.

Such is
The precious cost
Of being
Highly Favored
By God,
And carrying
The life of Jesus
Inside us.

-Brian Holda (Jan 28, 2015)

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