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It is dangerous to talk about political leaders in one’s own context since it leads to opinions flaunted as fact, not as witness to need or to real service. I will avoid that pitfall by speaking of a world leader who was truly a remarkable person, and who understood what leadership means, since examples of anything close to that kind of leadership seem ostensibly absent here.
The former King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, died on October 16, 2016, and at the time of his death was the longest reigning monarch on earth. He was so loved and revered by his people that the mourning lasted until the royal cremation which took place at the end of October this year. He was seen to be a peacemaker and the beacon of stability in a region often in the throes of upheaval. And his leadership was marked by a humility and commitment to serving the people he truly and very clearly loved. He was universally loved by all, for that very reason. The salient point is that leadership, true leadership, is ALWAYS marked by a commitment to service and witnessing to the primacy of those served, not the one in the role of “leadership”. That quality, brothers and sisters is something we are all called upon to exercise as witness to everyone around us, that our Lord is coming!
John the Baptist, might also be called, John the Witness, because he very clearly witnessed to the Christ. He was definitely a leader of the community and was seen as such, but also was witness to the one he served, Jesus the Christ. In this sermon we’ll explore our own leadership roles in God’s family, as we seek to witness (all of us) to the newborn Jesus.