Friday, 24 April 2009

Leadership Thought # 1

This isn't mine. It is Brennan Manning's, that genius author of "The Ragamuffin Gospel". Iwas reading him this morning and, in thinking about the resurrection, he says this, "If Jesus did not rise, we can safely assume the Sermon on the Mount as a magnificent ethic. If he did, praise does not matter. The sermon becomes a portrait of our ultimate destiny."

Essentially, he says, everything Jesus did on earth, the things he said, the way he was "with us" God Emmanuel, needs to be looked at in the light of the resurrection. "The gospel claims there is a hidden power in the world - the living presence of the risen Christ". This is how he finishes the reflection, but "hidden"? Yes in one sense, as Paul says, . . . in jars of clay (2 Corinthians 4 verse 7) . . . at the same time we are also encouraged, in the Sermon on the Mount, "to let your light shine . . . . that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven." (Matthew 5 verse 16)

Which is it? It is both! This treasure is within and not from us - crucially, we so often need reminding of that. How many times have I done something for God and (if I have been praised or encouraged) it suddenly becomes something I have done for God. The power belongs to him, the glory is his . . . the point of Jesus' statement "let your light shine", is that if we live the Sermon on the Mount (which is only possible because of the resurrection) . . . then that which shines, points those who see us to Christ. John the Baptist has this cracked when he says, "He must increase, but I must decrease" John 3 verse 20 . . .

Oh God, I pray for more leaders who choose to become less - especially me.

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