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Training, knowledge, experience & service ~ By Paul Ejime

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It might not have occurred to many, perhaps the major reason the Donald Trump presidency is ending the way it started – stranger than fiction!

Trump himself confessed that he was surprised he won the 2016 presidential election. Most political pundits and pollsters got it all wrong. For some, shock was an understatement, for others, Trump, a television celebrity business showman, who inherited his father’s estate fortunes, had rewritten the political history manuals.

But as things have turned out, some members of Trump’s family knew better.

From day one to the last weeks of Trump’s presidency, especially the earth-shaking events of 6th January 2021, it is obvious that things have always been amiss!

It is most telling that Trump’s celebrated business ‘successes’ have failed to compensate for his deficiencies in or failure in leadership.

Leadership is about humility, service, altruism, listening to and consideration for others. It is about learning and experience, which often come from training.

It is therefore, not by accident that great leaders in America and elsewhere, are those who had undergone leadership training, served or held public offices at certain levels or learned from cognitive experiences.
Some might argue that some leaders are born, while for others, leadership is entrusted upon them or leaders are made. But in all cases, the processes mentioned above are indispensable towards successful leadership.

That brings us to today’s Christian celebration of the feast of the Baptism of Jesus Christ by His forerunner, John the Baptist Mark 1:7-11.

Ordinarily, Jesus Christ being spirit divine and sinless, does not require the Sacrament of Baptism. But in His exceptional humility, Christ allowed John to baptize Him, allowing the Heaven to open up and reaffirm His Divinity in Holy Trinity – God the father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Chris went on to die a disgraceful death on the Cross, in obedience to God, to accomplish His Ministry of saving humanity.

In his homily today, Rev Deacon Barry Jennings of the Catholic Parish of Annunciation & St. Edmund Campion, Bournemouth, UK, recalls the three important events in the life of the child Jesus – his birth in Bethlehem in a Manger (Christmas), His Revelation/Manifestation (Epiphany) and Baptism.

The Deacon noted that before embarking on His “Ministry of Service,” which lasted only three years, Jesus Christ had spent 30 solid years in “formation/preparation.” Similiar to Abram/Abraham who at age 75 was instructed by God to abandon his home for an unknown destination. He obed and was richly blessed. Scripture explains in Isaiah 42, that God’s way is not man’s way!

Unlike today’s youth, and even adults that believe in instant gratification or “immediate harvest,” Jesus Christ had a trade/profession – carpentry. Under His earthly parents (Joseph and Blessed Virgin Mary), He grew in Wisdom and Maturity before His Ministry. In other words, servant/service leadership is a natural progression involving formation/training/learning and experience.

As demonstrated by Trump and others, approaching leadership through “shortcuts” or selfish routes is only a recipe for disaster and doom.

Jesus Christ is a role model in Service Leadership. As noted by Deacon Barry, we must therefore, through the light of Christ see the world and others in love, and without discrimination!

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