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There are many things, usually getting us out of trouble, telling us what to do, making the right decisions all the time, and if it is a political leader, ensuring that people aren’t affected by decisions – pretty hard to do though when you might have voted for the other party and do not like the decision made.
In Mark 5 we see what a true leader is.
Firstly we see Jesus going with his disciples to an area of need, healing and casting out demons in a gentile region.
Secondly the reaction to a man’s faith in that he could cure his daughter from disease.
Thirdly the reaction to a woman’s faith, even without asking, being cured.
All the while the disciples are in disbelief at the power that Jesus has, and are being taught along the way about the Kingdom of God that is to come.
Jesus as a leader is compassionate, powerful, hospitable and humble – a man of service who is participating in incarnational ministry, not just proclaiming – but doing.
When we see leadership like this, we see communities recovering, being more resilient, developing and joining with each other in fellowship, not fighting and bickering.
People have different ideas and thoughts about things, yet we are still in this community and deserving of our love because God loves us all.
It is not just how we love our families, neighbours and God, it is how we love the other.
This month marks the 18 anniversary of the death of Theo Van Gogh, a dutch film director who was murdered by an islamic extremist unhappy with his movies that criticised life in islamic society.
There was considerable backlash, and mosques were being targeted by extremists on both sides of the religious and secular barricade.
A prominent protestant church leader went to his local mosque, knocked on the door and stated that he would stand guard at that mosque against the attacks every night so that they could worship.
He was later asked why he did it, and why he encouraged others to do likewise.
Was it that he was a liberal Christian – No, was it because of a sense of community and secular morals – no.
The reason he gave the journalist was that he was doing what Jesus did in his life – showing love for others, a hard lesson to learn for many of us.
Love the ones who aren’t like you – be humble, show hospitality and serve their needs. When we have this type of activity our community, and our school will be an even greater place to be.