“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.” Luke 1:26-27

On December 25, 2008, my wife Teresa and I received some exciting news! This was the day that we found out that Teresa was pregnant with our first son, James. We couldn’t wait to tell all of our family and friends! This precious event from my own life has caused me to reflect upon another birth announcement that happened more than 2000 years ago in a little town called Nazareth.

Of course, it would be very difficult to put into words or describe exactly what took place when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus. Mary must have felt a whirlwind of emotions as she struggled to comprehend what the angel had come to tell her. In this situation it must have been a mixture of joy, but also fear of the unknown. However, joy must have conquered fear since Mary runs to tell her cousin Elizabeth the news of the birth of Jesus! We, like Mary, must do the same.

Here at First Baptist, as we strive to bring the presence of Jesus to others, we will no doubt meet with opposition from the powers and principalities of darkness. At times, we may feel like the woman depicted in the book of Revelation who is fleeing from the wrath and power of the dragon (Rev 12:1-6). In this story we see that the earth helps her by giving her a place of refuge from the power of the evil one. This reminds me of our faith community here at First Baptist. It is in this community of faith that we can nurture the presence of this divine Jesus who wants to be shared with the world that, as Paul says in Romans 8:22, “has been groaning in travail,” waiting for the fullness of redemption.

Daryl Barber lives in Greensboro with his wife, Teresa, and his three children, James (7), Virginia (4) and Christopher (3). In his spare time, Daryl likes writing poetry, running and spending time with his family.

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