hail mary


This coming Sunday I'm going to be speaking at Imago Dei, the church I attended when I lived in Portland. They asked me to speak on Luke 1, so this week I've been steeping in the story of Mary, the angel who appeared to her, and Mary's response, the Magnificat.

When the angel appears to Mary, he says, "Hail, Mary, full of grace."

This morning, I woke up wondering what Gabriel would say to me if he suddenly appeared.

"Hail, Sarah, full of.....?"

What?  Full of doubt?  Full of fear?  Full of dreams?  Full of love?

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I imagine that the angel's greeting to Mary was partly a statement of what was -- that Mary was already full of grace, already favored by God.  And it was partly a prophetic declaration of what would be -- that Mary would be filled with the Spirit, give birth to the Messiah, be counted blessed by generations to come.

Today, the invitation in this Advent story is an invitation to see who you already are --  and who you can be.  It's an invitation to come peer into the mirror of the way God sees you now, and the vision of who you can become.

Be thankful for what God has already blessed you with.  Be humble in acknowledging the things you are -- but don't want to be -- full of.  And smile at the promise of everything you will become.

Hail, Mary.  Hail.