a little less sir and little more servant

28 03 2013

Maundy comes from the Latin ‘mandatum’ meaning command. From Jesus command to his disciples at his last supper. To love one another.

There, that wasn’t so hard. Thought I’d throw that in unannounced so you didn’t get scared. Maybe we should call it Servant Thursday. Maundy sounds so…. churchy. Or like a posh Monday. 

Thing is, I’m thinking a lot about national leadership at the moment. Not that I’m planning any kind of coup. But I’m wondering where it is. We have a history in this country of inspirational leaders.  Not always good ones, but inspiring nonetheless. But now? All we get is a constant dribble of badly thought-through reactionary policies, designed more to get headlines than oversee the fair running of a society. And the democratic opposition are hopeless. There’s a power vacuum and it’s being filled by right-wing anti-poor anti-immigrant rhetoric from all sides. Cheap victories. Costly for those on the wrong end of it.  

When was the last time you heard a national leader talk about anything positive. Well, except about being for ‘hard-working people who want to get on’, but we all know that is a sinister sub-text. We live in a age dominated by privileged leaders, an entitlement culture, a clutching rather than a self-giving mentality and the adoration of the shallow. 

This is the time for the church to shine. And not because we are polishing our silverware or bashing our halos together in a holy huddle. But because the world we live in is crying out for servant leaders. They don’t know it, but they’ll know it when they see it. This is why Pope Francis has caught the public imagination. Even the newspapers are so confused they’ve been printing positive stories.

And it’s why I have high hopes for Justin Welby. I know, he’s a former Oxbridge ex-Etonian oil man. But his candour, his honesty, and his focus on Jesus is so encouraging. We need people to speak truth to power confidently, with integrity, with the heart of a servant-leader.

Of course it must start at the local level. We must be servant-leaders, authentic, rooted in Jesus. Giving our power away and helping others to shine. Or helping them scrape the goat turds from between their toes. If jesus can wash feet, so can we. 

We need a little less sir and a little more servant. I probably could have just said that.  

ASBO Jesus





5 responses

28 03 2013

The cartoon made me chuckle… and you’re right, we are all called to be more servant than sir.
I have to admit, I do like Boris a bit.
Hope that you are your lovely ones have a good Easter.

29 03 2013

Boris is scarily likeable, but dig below the comedy buffoon and you find someone more right-wing than the Tory party and who will change his policies depending on the power he seeks. Check out the interview with Eddie Mair on the Andrew Marr show last Sunday! He didn’t come across well…

29 03 2013

Amen to your blog post. I confess I’d rather be sir than servant… Lord, have mercy…

29 03 2013

Well said Kevin.

Maybe the root of the problem is a bit deeper. To be an inspiring leader you have to stand FOR something. Leaders today seem to stand AGAINST the other lot(s) and not to have any principles. Unless you can call saying “vote for me and I will be boss and have power, and you will work hard to support me” as a principle, which I don’t.

Our lack of any spiritual or ethical backbone in our nation and its leaders shows in many ways. Tearing the countryside apart, so reducing the quality of life. Punishing the poor by taking away their benefit rather than by helping them to become more rewarded employees. Cutting expenditure on care for the elderly, while increasing the number of bureaucrats. Reducing the caring staff in our hospitals whilst increasing the parasitic bureaucrats. Using overseas aid to bribe countries to do what we want rather than to help the needy. Controlling everything by the state whilst paying lip service to the big society. Having only one God – money and lots of it for me…..

Maybe God is doing something about the world through his Church which he is subjecting to much change at the moment. Pope Francis is FOR the poor and ministering to them. Archbishop Justin seems to be FOR peace and integrity. I have a dream that the Church could get behind its leaders in unity and preach and live a gospel of love, of compassion, of ethical and cultural values, of valuing people as individuals and giving back to them rights of self-determination which liberalism has stolen.

I have a dream that God, by his spirit will move in this nation, in Europe and in the world, to unite and empower the common man, to expose the greed and moral bankruptcy of the ruling classes and overthrow them, to bring hope, peace and love to a world people who find themselves huddled on this spaceship hurtling through a collapsing universe.

Of course, its just a dream, or is it? Can God do it? Yes he can. Does he want to see it? Yes he does. Will it happen? Not by our might, not by our efforts but by the power of God’s spirit! Come Lord Jesus, come Holy Spirit and show the awesome and fearful power of God at work today.

29 03 2013

Amen to that dream.

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