Modern Nativity: Gabriel
-Rev. Becki Barrett-
When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”
Luke 1: 28-33
Winter mornings make me want to stay in bed. Wait, ALL mornings make me want to stay in bed. It’s not just the feeling of warm feet hitting cold floor. It is the bills that need to be paid, the dishes that are waiting from the night before, and the ever pressing wants of all those who will need my attention today. It is the work of daily life that makes me want to pull the covers over my head and disappear into hot cocoa wishes and marshmallow dreams.
Mary must have felt something like this in her confused and wondering state. The angel is giving her “good news” of her favored status. She hears the words. She knows the presence of God is with her. Yet, the task seems too big for her to comprehend – never mind carry out. There is work to be done and family to please and traditions to honor. There is fear to be felt and confusion to be worked out. In the midst of Mary’s normal, daily life comes a commission from God to bear the Savior of the world.
It is too much to ask of her. Perhaps that is the point.
In the mundane toil of our daily work comes the invitation to do something extraordinary. Not to accomplish each task with excellence and efficiency, but to be present to the enormity of the invitation to live completely for God. The request God makes of us is to be present to people, to extend love, and to live in the joy of the coming Kingdom – in the midst of turmoil and pain and boredom and busyness. The request IS too much to ask so that is why the angel reminds Mary, “The Lord is near!”
We do not put our feet on the floor each morning without the blessing and presence of Jesus Christ with us – in us. There will be no end to the ways God will use our weary and restless lives to unravel complacency and dismantle suffering. In every conversation, every interaction, every mundane task we encounter, God is working out His Kingdom come – His will be done. It is too much to ask of us to do alone.
Loving God, give me the wisdom to invite you into each moment, the energy to live in your Spirit, and the insight to know my only task is to remember you are near.
Rev. Becki Barrett is the Senior Pastor at Overlake Park PC in Bellevue, WA. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Becki attended Whitworth University receiving a degree in Secondary Education and then graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2002. Becki has held pastoral positions leading family ministry, mission, caring ministry, and became an executive pastor before her call to be a senior pastor in Bellevue, WA. She loves all areas of ministry and developed her own leadership development coaching company because of her love for developing strong leaders using Strengths Finder 2.0. Becki served as the chair of the Personnel Committee for the Seattle Presbytery for six years and now loves her work as the Moderator of the Executive Committee. At OPPC, Becki is known for her humor, energy, and love for Jesus, the church and the Bellevue neighborhood. At home, she is known for hiking, reading fiction, and travel.