You know, favors are not really ever on an equal playing field. You are either playing favorites or paying favors or giving out party favors. Or you could be earning favors, so that you can use them at an opportune time in the future. Is that the point? Do this thing now for you, so that later, you will have to do something for me?
I don’t think that is what the angel Gabriel meant when he began at his meeting with Mary by saying, “Greetings, Favored One.” No, I think she was favored, because she was. Not because she had been storing up things to be used for later, though she would take up the practice of storing up memories about her child.
Do we try to be the favorite one? The favorite pastor, the favorite teacher, the favorite teammate, the favorite friend? Do we try to store up favors, so that we can cash them in later, or do we do things that are good, because they are good?
I remember getting really excited about party favors and wedding favors as a kid, but also remembering that they were not really worth all that much. Some kind of trinket that was fun for a while, but that either was going to be eaten, dissolved, or collect dust. How often our favors we collect resemble those favors. Perhaps instead of looking to collect dust, we should look to collect hope, or joy, or the favor of God, that we may be able to be present in the Spirit of Peace.
That’s something I can play with.