The scripture and R. Rohr point us to the John the Baptist story. His birth and heritage, as captured by Luke, set the stage for how the gospel writers each link John’s story as the herald. John was the voice that set the focus on another. John’s story and character, though strong and unique in themselves, existed to point to the One who came after…the One whose worth exceeded…the One who was to increase while John’s presence faded…the One who was the Lamb of God.
It’s a great measure of our own spirituality when we set ourselves up against John’s model. Ego is important to us, but maturity means the setting aside of ego for others. Spirituality includes setting aside ego for God and others (“love God and neighbor”), and artifacts of our doing so become measurements that we are growing into John’s role…the role of pointing others to Jesus. So, evangelism has little chance in us until we are ready to lay aside self and point to Him.
This Advent, let’s take a few minutes to ask: where I am learning to decrease so that Christ might increase? Conversely, where am I insisting on center-stage or my own way instead of letting others come first? And a corollary, how can dying to myself be an open invitation for the Christ Child to be born both in me and in my world?