DAY SIX John 3:22-36
Narberth Presbyterian Church
When Less Really Is More
People crave attention and power, whether its roots be in celebrity, politics, or business. We are fascinated by stories of how the rich and famous rise to power, and riveted when they stumble and fall. So when Pope Benedict surprised the world and resigned the papacy, the media was confounded: Was there a scandal behind the scenes? Was he ill and about to die? Why would a person willingly let go of such power and fame?
The disciples of John the Baptist had a similar question for their teacher: "What should we do about this Jesus movement?" John had built up quite a following by the Jordan River; even the leaders in Jerusalem were coming out to see him because of the crowds. But now the people were leaving him and going to Jesus. John's response: "He must become greater, I must become less." He knew that the veneration he enjoyed was not his own, but came from heaven. And he experienced fullness of joy in turning it all back over to the Lord of heaven, Jesus Christ. When "He must become greater, I must become less" is the prayer of our hearts, we are able to experience this joy also.
Pope Benedict is now being hailed for his humility in relinquishing power to Pope Francis, who in turn has become renowned for his own demonstrations of humility. While we Presbyterians do not submit to these Catholic leaders, we can appreciate their examples of humility and follow suit by submitting more of our lives to Jesus.
Is there something you need to let go of so that Christ can become greater in your life? Prayer: Lord, help me become less so that you can become greater in my sight. Amen.
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Rev. Dr. Shannon Smythe
United Presbyterian Church