Leadership…ah, the joys and sorrows of that position.
So, the breaking news before morning tea headlines the resignation of the Health Minister in Victoria and the departure of a Cardinal in Rome; resignations received or suggestions offered…we may never know. Amnesia is not restricted to the State of Victoria! Both Ezekiel and Matthew might have a further word to offer today if they were still with us. What they have left is pointed enough for each of us, “When the upright man renounces his integrity…which of the two did the father’s will?”
The commentators remind us that in this section of his book, Ezekiel is trying to answer the community, fearful of coming destruction, “Whose fault is it?” Many wanted to blame others, their forefathers, anyone. Ezekiel reminds them (and us) that each one is responsible for his or her acts; and he adds…each one is capable of conversion or apostasy.
Confronting Jesus was the Jewish leadership, caught between the people who were happily moving to the words of John the Baptist and away from the Temple, perceived to be in league with the hated occupying Romans. Yet again, Jesus appeals to the leaders to repent as “the tax collectors and prostitutes did”.
We are all leaders. Some with greater responsibility than others. To raise a family is perhaps the greatest honour and challenge to personal leadership. Even in that setting the question of ‘settling the blame game’ is part of the growing to maturity.
Leaders help people, even little people, to accept responsibility for their own lives and deeds. And we learn that it is better to pick up the banana skin, even if it is not ours.
We all must accept that there are times when we need to say seriously, “I am sorry I have done wrong. To seek pardon. Change is possible. God will forgive. The right path can be chosen.”
Today’s Psalm is perfect for an end of day prayer…try it!