Mary has the angel Gabriel appeared before her and he says she is charitoo. Oh, your version of Luke 1:28 does not use that word, neither does mine. Most will say something like highly favored. Charitoo is a Greek word that is only used twice in the New Testament. Since it was used to describe Mary, it is our Christmas connection. The other time it is used is Ephesians 1:6, where Paul says that we are highly favored or surrounded with grace because we are in Jesus.
Our word shares the same root, in Greek, as charis and charisma. These words refer to grace and gifts throughout the New Testament, especially in Paul’s letters.
But the Father surrounding us with His favor is not just a New Testament idea. Moses in Psalm 91 uses that thought all the way through his praise to God. (I believe Moses wrote Psalm 90 to 100 as he chronicled the journey from Egypt to Jordan River.) Picture this Psalm being sung as the Israelites are watching Egypt and their gods get wrecked.
David wrote Psalm 5:12 and uses the idea of surrounding us with His favor as with a shield. He received that favor when he was anointed to be king in his early teens.
Mary was given charitoo. She traveled to and from Elizabeth’s house by herself. Joseph and a very pregnant Mary bounced to Bethlehem and then ran for their lives after being given a fortune by the Wise Men and told to flee from Herod. Jesus even gave her a protector in her old age as He hung on the cross.
Whatever grace Mary was surrounded with, you have it as well. She got it to deliver Jesus into the world. We have because we are in Jesus in this world. That is a really great connection this Christmas.
Psalm 90 is actually the only Psalm that has a sub-heading that identifies Moses as its writer (some Bibles do not include these) but it is fairly clear that his family was musical. Look at Exodus 15 even though Moses may not be credited with writing that song he did lead the Israelites in its singing and verse 21 Miriam follows his lead and starts playing the tambourine and dancing. He also leads (recites) a song in Deuteronomy 32 so he seems to at the very least have been a songwriter. Over the years as I have read Psalms 90 through 100 I have wondered why most of them have no subtitles and that Psalm 101 is clearly marked as being written by David? The exception is Psalm 92, which is identified as being for the Sabbath Day. (possible placement of Psalms)
Ok, now for an active imagination because there is no proof for this other than contextual clues and some people may think that is a bit thin. Look at the job that Moses actually had to do; teach the children of Israel about God after they had been in a pagan land for 400 years. They were more knowledgeable about Egyptian gods than they were about Yahweh just because they were around those demon gods’ art and statues. He had approximately one million people who knew very little about God that had to be instructed in His ways. What better way to do that than through song; so now read these Psalms as Sunday School lessons and focus on themes. Also, think about the trials and problems the Israelites had in Exodus through Deuteronomy.
- Psalm 90 – (think Exodus 15:26)
- Psalm 91 – (think Exodus 17:15) to make God your fortress and He will protect you
- Psalm 92 – (think Exodus 16:27)
- Psalm 93 – (think Deuteronomy 5,6) shifting thinking from Egyptian gods
- Psalm 94 – (think Exodus 10:29) a call for justice
- Psalm 95 – (a lesson after Meribah and sending out the first spies) exhortation to praise God and not tempt Him
- Psalm 96 – to praise God for His general judgments
- Psalm 97 – the majesty of God’s kingdom
- Psalm 98 – a general call to praise God
- Psalm 99 – the mercifulness of God and His right to reign (some sources suggest that it may not have been the Samuel of 1 Samuel)
- Psalm 100 – (think Exodus 40) giving praise to enter the new worship area
Thompson Chain-Reference Bible was a resource. NIV usually includes subtitles on Psalms.
Moses picture: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Moses_Pleading_with_Israel_(crop).