The following is from a talk by Gene Robinson to the Center for American Progress, on the topic of Working for Justice and the Common Good. It took place on the third anniversary of his becoming the bishop of New Hampshire. Initially, I was thinking I would just try to summarize it, but there is a lot of good stuff here, so I ended up largely transcribing about the first third of it. Will share more in a future post, and in the some of the parts toward the end of the talk/interview, I'll have more of my own thoughts to share.
In Mark, Jesus seems to be figuring it out as he goes along--which to Gene makes sense, because if God chose to live a completely human life, we don't know what's going to happen an hour from now. "And I think that's how Jesus lived his life, so, as you read Mark's Gospel, you can begin to see Jesus kind of putting all this together in his mind...I think Mark's Gospel gives us an idea of the development of Jesus' self-understanding.Gene goes on to set the stage for telling a story that Robinson sees as a turning point in Jesus' self understanding.
"Jesus is, of course, always in trouble, especially with the religious types. ... So Jesus was really fed up to here with all this, and he goes on vacation. Well, it doesn't actually say that. It says he went into a foreign country--into Tyre, which is in modern day Syria. It does say that he didn't want anybody to know he was there, he didn't want anybody to know his name (which I can perfectly understand these days!) He just wanted a little peace and quiet.
Robinson goes on to tell about a book by Ron Heifetz called Leadership Without Easy Answers, in which the author says that leadership in today's culture is really about holding the hand of the organization, the people in the organization, and assuring them that we're going to live through this. That's the primary role of the leader is to lower the anxiety level of the institution enough so that they can get their work done. Because if they're highly anxious, if they're worried about survival, they're not going to be about their mission, because they're going to be all about survival.
More to come. You can listen to the streaming audio here.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 11:43 PM