Thursday, December 14, 2006

Are You Shrinking

Thoughts from Tony:

I've been pondering these words of John the Baptist; "He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:29-30)

As always, the challenge is figuring out how to apply them in my life. I don't pretend to have it all figured out, but I have some definite ideas, albeit primarily from a pastoral perspective.

I think it means that people I pastor should be more connected to Jesus than they are to me, and that it should be a source of joy for me when someone I've helped is so busy thanking Jesus they've forgotten me.

I think it means I should strive to be known more as a servant than a leader. These can be tough verses to live out, and I don't know how you apply them in your life, but I know I'd love to go to a church where everyone was trying to make it more about Jesus and less about themselves.

And I know from experience that the order is important. Unless I'm first very intentional about Jesus increasing in me, it's a lot harder for me to decrease. But here is what I'm currently finding challenging (feel free to take up this challenge with me if you feel up to it); how do I apply these verses to Christmas?

1 comment:

Will H. Donaldson Family said...

As to your "pastoral decreasing", think about how much heartache and "faith shaking" has occurred due to the slipping (and falling) of television evangelists. How much of that would have been avoided if the evangelists had remembered to decrease?

Second, -and keep in mind this is just off the cuff, Christmas is memorial of the beginning of OUR decrease. Before the birth of Jesus it was really all about Us. It was OUR Sacrifices (Okay,the Hebrews but you know what I mean..)that WE offered to attone for OUR Sins. Christmas is supposed to be the time that we remember the Beginning of HIS increase. How ironic that the world has turned Christmas into a time of selfishness and personal gain. The purpose of presents is to allow us a chance to Give, a chance symbolize Jesus's Gift, a chance to symbolize that we are continually making the effort to bring about the Increase of Jesus in our lives.
Well, you did ask...
Will -there is still too much me- Donaldson