Humble leadership breaks down walls and builds up with love
Jeremiah 23:1-6 – He shall reign as king and deal wisely.
Philippians 2:5-11 – Who… did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited.
Jeremiah denounces the bad leadership of the kings of Israel who divided and scattered the people, a leadership that destroyed nations and drove their citizens into exile. In contrast, the Lord promises a shepherd-king who will ‘execute justice and righteousness in the land’ and gather the flock as one.
Only in Christ have we seen the example of a leader truly after God’s heart. In him we encounter a loving, humble servant who does not regard equality with God as something to be exploited. He comes to serve, rather than be served, and his followers are called to do the same.
Today, the Middle East is experiencing the loss of its people to exile as ‘righteousness and justice’ are becoming scarce commodities, not only there but throughout the world. Yet leaders, both in the world and in the Church, have a responsibility to bring together rather than to scatter or divide. The more faithfully Christians emulate the servant leadership of Christ, the more division in both the world and the Church will be overcome. As we work for righteousness, justice and peace for all, we witness humbly to the shepherd-king, and draw others into his presence.
Just and righteous God,
we confess before you that we often covet worldly models of leadership.
Help us to seek our Lord Jesus Christ
not in the palaces of the powerful but in the humble manger.
May we emulate him in his meekness and become servants to each other in obedience to you.
We pray in the name of Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit reigns forever in glory.
Questions for Reflection
- Global: How have you seen the Church follow Jesus’ pattern of leading through service?
- Local: What Christian leader (either local or national) do you admire for the ability to inspire unity and a concern for justice? What qualities enable that person to lead effectively?
- Personal: When have you been inspired to take the lead in seeking justice or working towards unity?