By Linda and Richard Eyre
Note: Each week this column provides a short essay on one particular aspect or facet of the Lord’s personality and character. It is intended that the reader focus on this facet while partaking of the sacrament this Sunday. (Click here to read full introductory column.) This column has been on haitus for a few weeks while the Eyres were traveling, and Meridian is proud to resume it. Review previous columns by going to the What Manner of Man Archives.
Hi again. This week (and for the next four weeks) we will begin a new focus . on the Savior’s leadership. Let us begin with a leadership quality named after Christ . the quality of charisma.
Close your physical eyes for a moment and let your mind’s eye visualize the Savior:
- Speaking to groups of people with such spell-binding power that the officers that were sent to arrest him simply become part of the enthralled audience. (Later, in trying to explain to the Pharisees why they did not take him, the officers are able only to say “Never man spake like this man”; John 7:46).
- Teaching principles with such inner force that his enemies nervously report, “He stirreth up the people” (Luke 23:5), and that his disciples feel in their heart such singular devotion that one cries to the others, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16).
- Riding into Jerusalem with the inexpressible dignity and power that draws multitudes “saying, Hosanna,” and that creates a scene such that “all the city was moved” (Matthew 21:6-10).
Dictionaries define charisma as “a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure; a special magnetic charm or appeal” (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary).
From whence did Christ draw his supreme charisma? Was it from his actual spoken words? From his physical stature and presence? From the white-heat brilliance of his insight and teaching? Yes, it was all of these perhaps, but it was from at least two more things:
1. A love so unconditional and so universal, yet so individual, that all who contacted it felt it2. A basic realness – an open, straightforward candor and honesty-with-self that removed any hesitation and that attracted people like a magnet.
We hope this contemplation makes the sacrament particularly meaningful for you this Sunday. Join us next week as we consider the Lord’s awesome capacity to establish goals and plans.
2005 Meridian Magazine. All Rights Reserved.