Sorry, it has been more than a week since I last posted. I don't think it is laziness as much as it is business. I am ready my Bible regularly, but I am several chapters behind our reading plan as I am only a few chapters into John and I think we should be near chapter 15 or 16 by now.
John is a delightful book to read. It is so different from the synoptic gospels that preceed it in Matthew Mark, and Luke. John spends less time on the miracles and more time emphasizing Jesus as God incarnate. His view may be made different because he is the only one of the disciples that is not martyred. John lives to a ripe old age and has many years to contemplate what he saw, heard and experienced as the beloved disciple in the company of Jesus the Christ.
Every chapter is filled with stories and reflections upon who this Jesus is. John's gospel is filled with what John describes as "signs" rather than miracles....signs for those with eyes to see and ears to hear that this one, this Jesus of Nazareth, is the fulfillment of the prophecies. This carpenter's son is the promised one of old. He is the Christ, the son of the living God!
In the 3rd chapter of John much is made over a conversation between John the Baptist and some who thought that this upstart itinerant rabbi was horning in on John's territory. He describes Jesus as the bridegroom who has come to claim his bride. The baptizer describes himself as a good friend of the groom who delights in his voice and in his arrival and now that he is here, the baptizer must step into the shadow, "become less that he might become more" and rejoice that he has finally arrived.
How much so should we live our lives, praying for God's presence in the Holy Spirit, asking God to act in us and through us as we shepherd and teach and point the way to he who is greater than any of us or all of us combined. Allegiance to a church or a pastor is misplaced; we serve for a moment in time and if we do it right, the Body of Christ is enriched by our offering of talent and time, but the glory is to God. Our faith is not predicated by the presence of any mortal, it is placed upon the promises of God in the person of Jesus. We are encouraged by the Holy Spirit and we should live out our various places of ministry in the same way as the Baptizer, pointing the way, encouraging the wanderer, offering hope and always becoming less that Jesus might become more in the hearts and lives of those over whom we have some small influence.
Praising God for all of the good works that you do. Asking him to bless you out of the abundance of his love. Looking forward to being in fellowship with you on the Sabbath.