Once upon a time, I was an avid sports fan. March Madness was my favorite time of year. I would watch just about everything, but golf. I would be late for work because I was watching the top ten plays on SportsCenter. (I’d always be a little upset if a random putt made the top ten list.)
My favorite sport to watch was football. Football is what I would consider the ultimate team sport. There is no glory in any one individual’s performance. You can’t even see the players faces while their on the field. Some of the most important players on the field are people whose names you have never heard. It’s a metaphor for life.
There is one play that every team has in its arsenal. It’s a last ditch effort to move the ball down the field. They call it the Hail Mary. It’s a long pass, and it is usually thrown in desperation. The team is usually low on time, or about to give away a terrible field position to the other team. It does not have a high success rate, and is named for the way the angel greets the virgin to tell her of God’s plan, not just for her, but to save the world.
Hail Mary, full of Grace. Blessed art thou amongst women.
She was an unlikely vessel, and up until that point, God’s proposed “play” had never been done before. “How?,” she asks the angel. And even after he explained it, it made no logical sense. But Mary’s response, in my mind, is the ultimate testament of faith. “Be it unto me as you have said.”
Here’s where my metaphor falls apart. I see God as the quarterback, calling the plays and giving everyone their positions. But that’s an inaccurate representation of God’s role in this game. God is the owner of the team, watching from his suite. But through the Holy Spirit, he is also the coach. Through Jesus, he stepped into the role of a player, while also maintaining his position as the coach, the owner, and while serving as a referee.
The original “Hail Mary”, wasn’t a desperation play, but an invitation to join the winning team. Have you thrown anything up in the air today, hoping it would meet it’s intended target?
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”