John 1: 35-36The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God.
John 3:26-31 So John’s disciples came to him and said, “Rabbi, the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah, is also baptizing people. And everybody is going to him instead of coming to us.”
John replied, “No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven. You yourselves know how plainly I told you, ‘I am not the Messiah. I am only here to prepare the way for him.’ It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the bridegroom’s friend is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success. He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.
“He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else.[a
This week’s focus verses and last week’s sermon compel us to take a look at our lust for power. In Sunday’s message, Pastor Keith tells us, in God’s economy, it is service not power that honors Jesus. Jesus himself gave us the best example of this. He became less and less. He became human. He did this to give honor and glory to God the Father. He was the greatest, the all knowing, the untouchable God that reigned on High and He became man to fulfill the Gospel…so His Father would be praised. It is the legacy He gave us. Father Alfonse says it in the most beautiful way.
“To believe in God means to open oneself to God. If science were the sole avenue to the Creator, then Jesus Christ would have appeared at Oxford, and as a scientist. But he didn’t. If philosophy were the sole means to God, then the Lord would have appeared in Athens; as a philosopher, the likes of Plato or Aristotle. But he didn’t. If music were the venue to God, then the Song of Songs would have started Graceland. But he didn’t. He chose to write no music and chose to play no instrument. He and his Apostles were no Paul Lennon or Beatles in the middle of the desert.
I think the Lord chose none of the above because he knew we would do them better. Instead, what he chose to do was something that had never been seen before, done before or thought of before. He chose to do something remarkable, the likes of which we still marvel at every single time we witness it, hear about it and think about it. He chose to be small.” ~Father Alfonse
The things of this earth muddy our perception of how important we are. Our power, our authority, the prestige and accolades, the attention gained and the ability to persuade…the profane, the consumer driven ridiculous, the sinful…these earthly things draw us in, fills our heads and our ego inflates like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day float. We earned it. We saved. We fought. We worked. We accomplished. We won. We did it. And even in the good…God is lost. He is pushed to the back and we are made great. We are made bigger. We are praised. The world cheers and we gain recognition. It’s the American dream. It’s the goals we set. The sites we set our eyes on. Except we are forgetting that the single greatest thing we can do with our lives, is point to Christ. The greatest success I can have in this life is to reflect the love of Jesus.
“But among you, it will be different.” Pastor Keith pointed out that in Mark 10:43, James and John asked Jesus if when He is seated on the throne if they could be seated on His right and His left. The other ten Disciples hear this and respond with indignation. Jesus looks at them and says,
“But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
He made Himself small. He served. He became man. For us. The single greatest person in the history of the world came to serve. His power is in His choice to serve. His power is in His choice to be small. And His power shines bright in our smallness, our less-than. It’s in our service that our life points back to His.
More of you, God, less of me. But among us, it will be different. Let this be our prayer upon waking.