#8 Christmas 2012 Reflection: To be Great is to be Less
In our Gospel today, John the Baptist denies that he is the Christ and proclaims that his joy has been competed upon the arrival of the bridegroom, who is Jesus the Christ. In John 1:27, John the Baptist goes as far as to testify that the Christ “…is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” (NIV)
“He must become greater; I must become less.” (Jn 3:30, NIV)
We should come to understand that, in his time, John the Baptist was a largely popular Rabbi (or teacher). People often wondered with their hearts if he was the Christ (Luke 3:15). Despite the popularity and respect John gained, we find that he had never faltered or lost sight of his mission- that mission of preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah.
John the Baptist’s tireless work in preparing the way for Jesus Christ and the humility he has shown in proclaiming the Messiah serve as wonderful reminders for us this Christmas. We are reminded of three things:
- that amidst all the merry-making, countless reunions, endless Christmas shopping and seemingly non-stop eating, we take the time to (re)focus our hearts on that singular reason for celebrating Christmas: remembering the birth of Jesus Christ;
- that we discover our individual expressions of “preparing the way” for Jesus Christ not just on Christmas, but in how we live day-to-day; and,
- that, like John the Baptist, we find great humility and a profound sense of joy in proclaiming that Jesus Christ has come and that we have been saved the moment He took His last breath on that cross on Calvary.
Jesus’ Gift for you
This year had been one of the most difficult for me. For months, it felt that I welcomed a ridiculous amount of sorrow in my life. My decision to end a five-year relationship and carelessly jump into a new one seemed to have attracted so much grief. Adding to my personal crisis were career and academic crises. It seemed that every decision I made only led to a greater sorrow. In short, na-depress ang lola mo sa mga bagay-bagay sa mundo.
Grace came in the person of my partner for five years. She reminded me of how being Christian has already placed me above my pains and depression. Jesus Christ’s gift of salvation is not just salvation from humanity’s sins. This salvation encompasses salvation from the sorrow of my own thoughts and misgivings. Yes, Jesus died to save us from our personal crises, too, however big or small they are! These lines from the MCC Statement of Faith has never been truer, “We are saved from loneliness, despair and degradation through God’s gift of grace, as was declared by our Savior. Such grace is not earned, but is a pure gift from a God of pure love.”
Is it not amazing how Jesus Christ came and died to save us even from the littlest of our worries? As we humble ourselves and proclaim Jesus Christ as our Savior, I invite you to think about Jesus Christ’s own acts of love and humility. Jesus, too, chose to become less in order for God’s people to become great. What is more amazing about this gift of salvation is that it is given to us freely in every waking moment of our lives, not just on Christmas!
Parent God, we thank you for reminding us of the great love and humility that Jesus Christ lived, died, and resurrected by. We ask for your grace and guidance as we make our own journey of being less so others can become great in Your Mighty Name. Amen.
Written by: Eika Rosario
Image source: http://www.truthpoint.org