The Energizer

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Holy Thursday and Servant Leadership

By Eileen McDargh - Saturday, April 15, 2006
Last night I attended a Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) service. At the same time my Jewish friends were celebrating Passover, I stood in a darkened church, breathing in heavy incense and watching the re-enactment of the Last Supper. Thanks to Rembrandt and author Dan Brown, people of many persuasions are familiar with this scene. But then something happened at that meal which broke with the traditional Passover ritual. The Master (call him CEO, President, VP of Sales) took off his cloak, grabbed a basin and water pitcher, and then knelt before his followers to wash the dust from their feet. Servant leadership in action. I imagine the embarrassment in his followers. Cries of protest. But the Master had to make his one final point. Ultimate leadership disdains ego and instead says to the followers, "Let me care for you. Let me do the dirty work for awhile. We're all in this together. Soon it will be your turn to kneel." Something to think about.

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