God Choosing Mary, Choosing Us

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” - Luke 1:26-28

Scripture is full of God doing unusual things and plucking unlikely heroes from surprising situations.  In our reading this morning, God sends a messenger, the angel Gabriel, to an insignificant farming village full of simple, unimpressive people to talk to a woman so young, she hasn’t even been married yet.  “Greetings, Mary, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Or as one traditional prayer puts it: “Hail, Mary, full of grace - The Lord is with thee.”

Why is Mary singled out this way?  What makes her so special? Nothing at all, according to the story, except that God says she is. She’s young and inexperienced, not male, probably neither rich nor educated... And God looks at her, in all her ordinariness and social invisibility, and he calls her loved - full of grace.

Writer Anne Lamott confesses, “I do not understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.”  What would it mean for God to see you and meet you this morning? Take the next few minutes to imagine, with as much detail as you can, God entering one of the ordinary moments of your day - maybe taking out the trash, filling out paperwork, or changing a diaper - imagine God entering your ordinary life, looking at you, really seeing you, and naming you precious, full of grace.  How would you respond?