Deacon Chris asked us last week to keep track of the number of times our favorite news sources encourage us to be afraid – a revealing exercise, I thought – and we could probably do the same with the number of times our favorite news sources highlight fights or arguments. Those headlines like “so and so blasts opponents.” After all, outrage generates page views and adrenaline sells products. So we are all experts these days, I think, in what it looks like when leadership is from this world, and its followers are fighting.
You could raise the question, in this situation, of how wise it is for the church to choose a term that is rooted in political power to describe Jesus. But when we call Jesus a King, as we do today, we don’t mean that he’s no better than our earthly leaders. We mean he embodies the real definition of leadership as God designed it. So what is that kind of leadership? If we’re going to use potentially ambiguous words like “King” or “Lord,” what does the church’s tradition intend by them? What is Jesus’ leadership, and how is it unlike the world’s version of leadership?