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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent, Day 15

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JOURNEY to the MANGER: Advent 2010
John 3:22-30
S. Steve Kang & Gary Parrett

The prophets declared, “Thus saith the LORD.” But though the word was spoken through them, they were the first to humble themselves and tremble before it (Jeremiah 23:9). To Israel belong the oracles of God–but that made God’s people servants of the word, not its masters. Mary gave birth to Christ, but she did not become lord over the one she had birthed. Instead, her confession remained, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38) and “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). John’s ministry preceded that of Jesus, but he pointed away from himself, willfully decreasing even as Jesus’ influence increased. He unequivocally declared, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).

Tucked away in the Great Commandment (Mark 12:31) is a clue for Christians to let Christ increase in us. It reads, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus, here, assumes our self-love. Yet, he is our Lord and we are his subjects. We are called to love ourselves properly as God has loved us. This way, we let Christ increase in and through us as we extend that love to our neighbors in this Advent season.

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

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