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Monday, 23 September 2013

Take me to your leader!

Leadership is of great importance within any group, or organisation.  The question often is: "From which position does the leader lead?"!

This occurred to me, last week when, on a TV  News programme, I saw a number of young men in a swimming pool.  On the pool-side, speaking to camera, was a bearded gentleman of obviously Asian extraction (how's my political correctness, so far?!), who looked as if we was in his late forties.  According to the person who was translating, this person was informing us that these young men were having their last swim before fulfilling their destinies as 'suicide bombers'.  My first thought was: "If you, sir, are so keen that these young men detonate a vest, packed with explosive, and worn by them, why don't you show how important such an action is by leading from the front, and setting an example?  Why don't you don one of those vests, and blow up innocent bystanders - and, of course, yourself?!"

Of course, I suspect that I know the answer.  It's a bit like former British Prime Minister, Tony B Liar, sending British troops into Iraq, and Afghanistan - from the peace and comfort of Downing Street, or Chequers, and with a 24/7 protection unit provided by the Metropolitan Police!  In other words, these people - and I could name many more - are content to 'lead from behind' (and there's an oxymoronic phrase for you!).  Yesterday, as I heard the news from Pakistan, I wondered if the two 'suicide bombers', responsible for the worst ever attack on Christians, might even have been in that swimming pool!

I also thought to myself about the Lord Jesus.  Like kings and emperors of old, He leads His people from the front.  "... thanks be to God," writes Paul, "Who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere." (II Cor.2:14).  Jesus likened Himself to a shepherd, and reminded us that a good shepherd "... calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice." (John 10:3-4).  Again, He assured His disciples that "In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also." (John 14:2-3).

In the old children's game Follow the leader, that is exactly what one did - the leader went first, and the others followed the example given.  Perhaps if more of these Islamist terrorists were to set the example, there would be fewer 'suicide bombers' causing destruction and death.  Perhaps if political leaders were still required to lead the troops into battle, as did those kings of old, there would be fewer wars - civil, or otherwise.

Take me to your leader - but assure me that he is a leader, and not a pusher!  Jesus said, and still says, "Follow Me!".  Those who do, discover that He is a Leader beyond any other leader; indeed, He is King of kings, and Lord of lords, and worthy of all that we can offer to Him.

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