Increase or Decrease

John the baptist shows the Christ by Leonardo Milanese from 16. cent. in St. John the Baptist chapel of church San Pietro in Montorio. Credit: Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock.com

John the baptist shows the Christ by Leonardo Milanese from 16. cent. in St. John the Baptist chapel of church San Pietro in Montorio. Credit: Renata Sedmakova / Shutterstock.com

Last week the Church celebrated the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist.

The biblical story of John, the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, begins even before his birth. Scripture tells us that when Mary, the mother of Jesus met Elizabeth, John although unborn, leapt in his mother’s womb at the arrival of Mary. Even at that point in his development, John responded to Christ and heralded his arrival. The early fathers of the church saw John as being endowed with grace even before his birth.

As the last of the Prophets, John’s calling was to draw attention to Christ. In some ancient art work, depicting John the Baptist, we see him pointing towards Christ. He drew the attention away from himself and towards Christ. John affirms this approach when he says of himself in relation to Christ, ‘He must increase but I must decrease.’ (John 3. 30)

In a nutshell, this is the motto of every disciple of Christ and community of Christians. When people are in contact with us, do they experience Christ? Let us pray that we would have this mind amongst us and, that day by day, through the work of the Holy Spirit, we would become more like Christ.

He must increase, I must decrease.

Canon Keith Farrow
Canon Missioner