Faith Daily | 9 January 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany
by the leading of a star
you manifested your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles:
mercifully grant, that we, who know you now by faith,
may after this life be led to the vision
of your glorious Godhead;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 3: 22-30
22After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. 23John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized 24—John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison. 25Now a discussion about purification arose between John’s disciples and a Jew. 26They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27John answered, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. 28You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.’ 29He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. 30He must increase, but I must decrease.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Alison Dorman
‘For this reason, my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase and I must decrease.’
John the Baptist was always very clear that his role was to point to the Messiah and that he was not the Messiah. So his joy was made complete when he saw that people were in fact recognising that Jesus was baptising with the Holy Spirit and that his witness was being recognised. He knew that he had been appointed by God and that ‘no one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven’.
What a relief it is to know that the gifts and ministry I have are God given and that I don’t have to prove anything or strive to be someone that I am not or to pretend that I am like someone else. I just wish that I could always live into that and not become anxious that I am not as ‘good at something as somebody else’. Having said that, I know that I am human and have many weaknesses (anxieties or ‘sins’) which are part of who I am, and I need to be accepting of my humanity and know that God loves me just the way I am.
The challenge is always, “How do I decrease in order for God to increase?” This does not mean that I have to ‘play small’ or have false humility, but to be able to witness to what God is doing in my life and always to point back to the fact that all I have been given comes from ‘above’.
Oh, if it was as easy as just saying it. ‘By God’s remarkable Grace, I am always a work in progress.’ Thanks be to God.
FINAL PRAYER: Darkness Yielding, Canterbury Press
Holy Spirit, Counsellor, Wisdom, strengthener,
give to us, friends and servants of God,
all the gifts we need.
Confirm us in the faith that we have professed.
May we continue in the way of Jesus
all the days of our life,
until as a pilgrim people
we come to dwell in the City of God forever.