Nouwen, H. J. M. (1979). The Wounded Healer. New York, Darton Longman and Todd.

p76

” A Christian leader is a man of hope whose strength in the final analysis is based neither on self-confidence derived from his personality, nor on specific expectations for the future, but on a promise given to him.

This promise not only made Abraham travel to unknown territory; it not only inspired Moses to lead his people out of slavery, it is also the guiding motive for any Christian who keeps pointing to new life even in the face of corruption and death.

Without this hope, we will never be able to see value and meaning in the encounter with a decaying human being and become personally concerned. This hope stretches far beyond the limitations of one’s own psychological strength, for it is anchored not just in the soul of the individual but in God’s self-disclosure in history.

Leadership, therefore, is not called Christian because it is permeated with optimism against all the odds of life, but because it is grounded in the historic Christ-event which is understood as a definitive breach in the deterministic chain of human trial and error, and as a dramatic affirmation that there is light on the other side of darkness.”

Dear Lord

Help us in our hesitant steps towards you during this journey of Reader training.

Help us to keep in our hearts a balance between our detailed analysis and learning of Scriptures, which we know is a vital part of that journey in our ministry, and the long self-questioning which deepens our understanding of ourselves and our relationship with you.

When we feel inadequate to the task, help us to look to your call and your promise to find our way ahead. When we feel over-confident in the task, help us to look to your life-changing, world-changing immensity to gain perspective.

When we lose our way in the detail and deadline of the task, help us to feel the joy of your work through us; the light on the other side of darkness.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord

Amen.

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