Sunday Readings here.
It seems to me that the readings for this weekend reflect on leadership and the fact that we human beings are very much in need of it.
We may not like to admit it, but if we are without leadership we will tend to pretty much flounder around like sheep without a shepherd. We have a great need to come together and to unite around someone who can articulate a unified vision or purpose. The trouble is that not all visions, even though they may be passionately and clearly articulated, are good for us. History is filled with examples of people flocking to leaders who are far less than perfect. So the question than becomes what are the qualities that we should look for in a leader.
Of course, my answer is going to be that first and foremost we should look to Jesus and the type of leadership that He employed. We don’t have to look too closely before we easily conclude that Jesus is among the greatest leaders of all times, but was very different from Adolf Hitler, who is indeed also an example of a powerful leader. Of course, Jesus is different than Hitler in many ways- perhaps primarily in his example of Christian Leadership.
Christian leadership is different than any other kind of leadership. It is not based on power; it is based on invitation. It does not feed off propaganda; it thrives on truth. It does not oppress or place burdens on people; it sets them free and calls them to rest. Christian leadership is based on truth, love, freedom, caring, and service. The Christian leader puts people first, and is willing to sacrifice himself for them. Other leaders do exactly the opposite. And the bottom line, and for me this is what it’s all about, is that Christian leadership is the most effective kind of leadership. Don’t think so? Well then let me ask you two questions. Where is Adolf Hitler? Where is Jesus? The trouble is that Christian leadership is rarely ever practiced. And it is something to which we are all called by virtue of our Baptism and Confirmation. Yes. We are all called to be leaders. Christian leaders. So how about if we try it sometime? Let’s live a life that is based on truth, freedom, service, love, and caring, and see what happens.
- Rev. Joseph Maloney, Pastor