(This wall icon is from St. Antony’s Monastery in Egypt’s Red Sea Mountains)
The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus… He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David…. Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God… For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”
Whether you hear these words as historical, metaphorical or mythical they point to what I believe is a fundamental truth: World changing events happen when vulnerable people have the courage to step forward against all conventional wisdom and amidst great uncertainty to say, “Here I am, I’ll do what I am called to do.”
Bill Jamieson’s career has included leadership positions in business, government, and education. He was also an ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church and his ministry centered around advocacy for low-income families and children.