Great Leadership Is Possible
The Lord said to Moses…’ I will make you and your heirs into a great.’ Exodus 32: 10
One frosty night I meditated under the stars on the hill overlooking Edinburgh known as Arthur’s Seat. Our lands seemed to be sinking under a sea of troubles, and those who were meant to give a lead seemed to be blighted by small-mindedness. I sensed that God was wanting to release the potential for great leadership that lies untapped in so many people, and that the spirit that animated that great leader, Arthur, can animate us, too.
Unlike the well-known Celtic saints, the life of the great Celtic war hero Arthur is shrouded in the mists of legend. Yet, wherever he may have lived, and whatever the actual details of his life, we can be grateful that here was a man who dared to give a lead, to stand up to the tyrant, to rally the forces of good, and to live out Christian values.
The legends give a sense of Arthur’s Christ-centred strategy for the nation during the period after the Roman troops left, when brutal Saxon invaders were taking over. Arthur built a chain of defended towns to protect the Britons from the invaders, and so secured, for a period, what is known as ‘Arthur’s Peace’. Arthur was thwarted by quarrelling Celtic kings, yet ‘he was beginning to display that rarest of qualities: a joy inspired by hardship, deepened by adversity, and exalted by tragedy’. He was given a vision for Britain: ‘A land shining with goodness, where each man protects his brother’s dignity, where war and want has ceased, and all races live under the same law of love and honour … a land bright with truth, where a man’s word is his pledge … where the True God is worshipped and his ways acclaimed by all’.
Stephen Lawhead Arthur, an historical novel
Some nation must produce a new leadership, free from the bondage of fear, rising above ambition, flexible to the direction of God’s Holy Spirit… Some nation must give a lead. Some nation must find God’s will as her destiny, and God-guided people as her representatives at home and abroad. Will it be your nation?
Lord, give to us that inner dynamic
Which calls out and combines
The moral and spiritual responsibility of individuals
For their immediate sphere of action