“Look I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare your way before you”.
Like John the Baptist, all great leaders are not afraid to meet people in their “deserts” where these persons are most vulnerable. They are not easily swayed or intimidated by others but stand up for what is right even at their own peril. Their message is always clear, honest and forthright, not dressed up in “magnificent clothes”.
In their humility, they are very much aware that there will always be someone coming after who will achieve greater things than themselves and are not fazed by this. Messenger-leadership, then, is the essence of true leadership. Unfortunately, the people in authority can never see this and so are unable to be baptised into leadership that really matters.
During this Advent, we celebrate the many ‘John the Baptists’ in our midst. We pray we too may be the kind of messenger-leader so needed in our families, our schools, our country and our world.