The Feast of the Annunciation stained glass window at St. Mary's By-the-Sea in Pacific Grove, CA

Rector’s Reflection December 2021

“The Holy Spirit, She will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the one born will be holy.” (Luke 1:35)

It was the beautiful stained glass of the Annunciation at St. Mary’s that first drew my heart to this place, over two and a half years ago. God’s messenger coming to Mary, to fill her with good news and invite her to bear it into the world, is the guiding image of my spirituality. God is not a puppeteer, pulling strings from on high. God works through real people in the real world. And we can be instruments of God’s peace, bearers of joy and life, if we listen to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The image of the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary is a powerful one. It reminds us of God’s power – power so much greater than ours it can be frightening. If we allow the Holy Spirit to overshadow us, will we be lost? Is our will no longer our own? Mary may have had some ideas about what her life would be like. It is unlikely she dreamed of bearing God’s son into the world. But she may have dreamed of a world where the hungry were fed, where captives were free, where each person was loved and valued as an equal.

Participating in God’s work to bring love and reconciliation into the world can take many forms – as many forms as there are people willing to join in. What makes your heart leap? Or what breaks it? Those are some clues to where God is calling you to act. If you’re unsure where to begin, I’m happy to speak with you or recommend resources that can help you as your dream takes shape. I don’t know what each of you is called to – but I know that each of you is called. And your “yes” is every bit as important as Mary’s was, because it is through people like you and me that God works in this world.

This Advent, let us live in that question: What holy thing is waiting to be born? No matter how far-fetched it may seem, remember that nothing is impossible with God.


Advent blessings,