Jesus understood that leadership was not a position or a title, that in fact it was an action and an example, writes Thomas Wynne
As we bask in the day that was Christmas and hurtle towards
2021, so many of us will be happy to see 2020 pass us by and to welcome in a
The reality is, little will change except a number on our
calendar which we have little control over.
Time is its own master and at the stroke of midnight 2020,
we will be in 2021.
What we do have control of is what 2021 will be for us as we
gather again in 12 months and look back at the year that has been, and the year
of possibilities before us.
Nonetheless Christmas has happened and we have engaged in
fun, family and holidays, as that for many is what Christmas brings.
But for many of us also, it is so much more than just
another holiday and for many of us we celebrate not just a day off, but also
the birth a baby in a trough used to hold food for animals, in a small town
called Bethlehem so many years ago.
It is without dispute that December 25 was not the day he
was born, but in the West, it is the day we have chosen to celebrate his birth,
the birth of the one we call Jesus, Yashuah God our salvation, which is what
his name means.
Jesus’ life, love or loathe him, accept or reject him, has
affected the way we see the world, our laws, our conscience, our religious
institutions, our neighbour, our wives, partners and children. In fact, there
is not a place where his life has not in some way affected ours.
He understood that leadership was not a position or a title,
that in fact it was an action and an example and he understood that love was a
verb, something that was done and not just spoken.
He understood that a genuine leader did not look for
consensus, he instead shaped consensus and that a nation’s culture resides in
the hearts and soul of its people.
He understood that what you do and how you live your life
had such a greater impact than what you said, and he understood also that
leadership meant a level of integrity that was far higher than most of us have
come to experience and see.
Unpopular decisions, like his pathway to the Cross at
Calvary he had the courage to make, knowing that true leadership and leaders
understood popularity and popular decisions should never guide the vaka of our
lives or households or countries for that matter and that we are all answerable
Don’t find fault, instead find a remedy was his driving
mission for mankind, and that remedy would involve his journey from that food
trough in Bethlehem to the Cross.
His example, though he would in his life’s journey speak
truth to power and confront the hypocrisy of the rulers and leaders of the time
and religious rulers who chained their people in chains of legalism; outward
appearances of good while inward he said they were like empty white tombs with
dead bones in them.
He confronted the powers of Roman rule and spoke truth to
their hearts on justice and injustice, and captured his life’s mission in these
To proclaim good news to the poor. To proclaim freedom for
the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind and to set the oppressed
He understood that a true leader knows the way, goes the way
and shows the way and would never expect others to do what he not already asked
of himself, and he understood that in fact leaders don’t create followers they
actually create other leaders, because we create who we are in the life of
those who follow after us.
As a country, we have so much to celebrate and be thankful
for and as a country we have a template for the leadership we should strive and
hope for and a leadership we should expect in our hearts, homes and country.
From the crib to the cross, Christmas is just the beginning
of a story that has shaped our lives, our culture, our religious world view and
the way we see leadership and power.
Service is the way to leadership, not self-service, or
self-profiting but instead a service that lays down its life for those they
love and care for.
Love or loather, believer or not, Jesus born on Christmas
day, has shaped and continues to shape our world. Because that is the power and
change that deep unconditional love can bring to the deepest part of our broken