Servant Leadership

(Sir 2:1-11)Trust in God. Wait for God. Receive the word of understanding. Be patient. Be humble. Accept whatever comes. Hope for good things.

This is the language of contemplation. Hagia Sophia speaks. We enter into silence, emptiness and the void and God shows up. Nothing dazzling to the mind or senses occurs. We rest quietly and trust that God is filling the void of our nothingness, our emptiness with Love so that we can love as God loves. We let God’s light shine into the darkness of our cellar where we encounter God. We trust that God will gift us with Love.

Let go trust in God. No one who trusts in God has been disappointed. God always shows up.

(Mk 9:30-37) Mark begins a series of teachings to explicate the nonviolent message of Jesus. We must resist nonviolently the powers but we must also resist the temptation to the violence of domination in ourselves and in our social relationships. Jesus is here establishing a new nonviolent social order built on servant leadership. Jesus is going toward the Cross. The disciples do not get it and are going toward power.

Nonviolence gets up close and personal. Gandhi says, “If one does not practice nonviolence in one’s personal relations with others and hopes to use it in bigger affairs, one is vastly mistaken.” (Myers at 257) Domination and the quest for power must give way to nonviolent servant leadership. Maximus the Confessor says that committed service is one element of Gospel charity.

In society, the child is the least significant but Jesus reminds us that change will come from the bottom up, from the least among us. I think of the children in Nicaragua and Slumdog Millionaire. They are poor and dependent on others for survival and subsistence.
Like children, we empty ourselves so we can trust in God and God alone. Our true security is not in power and weapons of domination. Out trust is in God who made the heavens and the earth.