“He must increase, but I must decrease.” ~ John the Baptist
It is often the very simple things that give the greatest lessons. I remember a religion class where the nuns gave each of us a balloon. We even got to choose our own color. Then, with a magic marker, we printed our names. There they were. Letters in big, bold black. Our names pretty much dwarfed the balloons.
Then, we were instructed to blow up our balloons and to watch the effect upon our names. My yellow balloon began to inflate. At first, my name was still bold; but, as the balloon became larger, the name began to stretch and fade. The balloon became more pronounced and my name less notable.
That was when Sister told us, “That is exactly what happens when you let God in your lives. The more you let God in, the less people will see of you.” I was fascinated and I have reflected upon that simple, yet profound, statement quite often throughout my life.
The more you let God in, the less people will see of you. Or, as John the Baptist would say, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John knew the most important thing in the world was not himself. It was Jesus Christ. John wanted to do everything possible to bring attention to Jesus and not himself.
That may have been one of the reasons John was so taken aback when Jesus appeared before him in the Jordan River for baptism. John told Jesus that Jesus should be the one baptizing, not John. Jesus’ response was simply to let things unfold the way they needed to at that present time. So John did. He baptized Jesus in the Jordan River and Jesus’ public ministry began.
We all have a role to play as we follow the Lord. Our role should never intentionally bring attention to ourselves. We should do all that we do and say all that we say to bring attention to God. That was the reason that we were baptized so that, as children of God, we could decrease as God filled us with His Spirit. Today’s Jesse Tree symbol is a scallop shell to remind us of John the Baptist and of our own baptism.
FAITH ACTION: Determine the things that you need to do to allow God to be a greater part of your life.