On June 24, 9:00 AM, the cellphone alarm goes on. It is the usual hour it goes on to announce me if there is an aniversary of someone I know. This time the celebrated one was John the Baptist! I felt just as wierd as you might feel 🙂 But, then, I remembered how this name got into my phonebook. Last year I was reading „Love Beyond Reason” by John Ortberg about the fact that John the Baptist’s birthday is celebrated on June 24th, a date rather symbolic, not historic, when days start to shrink and light starts to decrease (June 21th, the day saving time is close 🙂 This date fits John, because, as he stated, his heart desire was that „Jesus would increase and he would decrease.”
John the Baptist was chosen to fulfill a special ministry, that of „preparing the way of the Lord” and in order to do this, he had to cancel all his expectations for a normal life and all the aspirations that were speciffic to the first century life (see Mathew 3). John quit all these for the sake of the ministry… then God asks him if he is ready to quit one more thing: his ministry! John’s disciples were mad that, after John „launches” Jesus, Jesus rewards him by getting him out of his ministry „He that was with you beyond Jordan, to whom you bare witness, the same baptizes, and all men come to him.” (John 3:26) John’s answer is „He must increase and I must decrease”. This isn’t an attitude of resignation or quitting the struggle, but the attitude of the humble. Yes, the attitude of the humble…of that who enjoys the victory of his fellow, even though himself, apparently, loses, the attitude of the one who rejoices with those who rejoice and weeps with those who weep, who denounces his right to be right for the sake of his fellow, who offers forgiveness and grace, who rejoices when others are being praised and encouraged, while he isn’t…
Yep… a long introduction for telling you how my relationships in Bucharest look like recently. Me and Laura have learned the importance of humility in our relationship. We have learned to give more than we receive… we have learned to decrease and make room for the other to increase. The road is long and uneasy, but it is full of the power of the Holy Spirit and the joy of being loved by our Father. God has blessed us with a 17 years old friendship… and He is teaching us to invest in it! We are very thankful for one another!
Also, in the leadership team in Bucharest or in the youth department in BIG, this month God has tought us to submit to one another in love, regarding the strong spots of those in the team, and to cover our weak spots in humbleness. God has intrusted us with gifts and abilities and it is a challenge to lift up the others before us, but God smiles everytime we do it.
I desire to continuously „decrease” so that Jesus would increase in the lives of those around me!