This Incarnation Season offers us an open invitation to ponder what it all means – for us, for our community, for the world. I’ve been reflecting on Mary’s yes:
…yes to God, yes to a wholehearted call she could not possibly understand, yes to vulnerability in the face of societal judgment . . . yes to a vision for herself and her little boy of a mission that would bring down rulers and lift up the humble, that would turn away the rich and fill the hungry with good things, that would scatter the proud and gather the lowly [see Luke 1:51–53], yes to a life that came with no guarantee of her safety or her son’s. Rachel Held Evans
I quickly transition from Mary and Jesus to my role as one who also incarnates the Christ. And then, being such a direct outflow of my own spirituality, my thoughts move to how APTB incarnates the Christ. Like Mary, this ministry strives to say yes to a vision larger than our small selves, one that lifts up the humble, that gathers the lowly and, often, comes with no guarantee of our success or viability. In some respects, this feels like a great risk, a step off the cliff into the unknown. But more often than not, it is really like falling into love, surrendering into trust, or allowing what Is to Be.
The Divine has entrusted us with this baby ministry. The awe and the humility of that alone is daunting. And as I sit with that, my eyes rest on the word “us”; we do not do this alone. We is rooted in the Spirit, which leads all that we do. We consists of our amazing Leadership Team (aka our Board of Directors) and our volunteers who make the day to day happen. We includes our donors who, in so many ways, give us the ability, both financially and otherwise, to keep the ministry going. But most importantly, we encompasses all you who participate, who show up, who share your incredible spirit, who risk becoming vulnerable and open and honest with yourselves and others, who open your hearts to the way the Spirit is moving within and among. It is you who I stand in awe of. It is you who, with great humility, we strive to accompany. It is you who teaches me, time after time, how to be a better person. Thank you.
And so we move into 2023 mindful of the calling of the Incarnation. In this season of glitz and glitter, holiday lights and scented candles, food, family and celebration, we re-commit ourselves to being conduits of the great Love that permeates all of creation. We absorb this light and strive to reflect it back illuminating the goodness and Grace that fills our communities. Together, let us continue our YES to a life of great risk, great surrender and great Love so that, just like Mary, we, too, participate in the true miracle of the Incarnation.