"Blaze Like the Stars..."

"This doctrine of equality is essential to conversation; so much may be admitted by anyone who knows what conversation is. Once arguing at a table in a tavern the most famous man on earth would wish to be obscure, so that his brilliant remarks might blaze like the stars on the background of his obscurity. To anything worth calling a man nothing can be conceived more cold or cheerless than to be king of your company."
- G.K. Chesterton, What's Wrong With the World

I am not the most famous, nor brilliant, of men, but I have to say that I completely agree with Chesterton. It is an occasion for utmost satisfaction when, in the company of those who do not know me (read: most people), that very fact makes the truth shine all the brighter. 

I think about this in terms of ministry and am put in mind of John the Baptist's words: "He must become greater; I must become less." I desire for people to take note of my sermons because they are true and good and point towards Christ, not because I am the one speaking. I also want to be a shepherd as Jesus spoke of, whose sheep follow because they know my voice. Yet, even here I do not want anyone following my voice specifically, but only my voice insofar as they recognize in it the voice of Christ. I believe we can only say "Follow me" if we can also say, in all sincerity and truthfulness, "as I follow Christ." We are never trailblazers, only followers, and if others follow us (making us "leaders" in modern parlance) then may they do so only because they recognize that we are on the narrow path of life. 

As I think through this, I realize that here we can see a great danger in modern life. The danger of being followed and heard because of our name rather than the name of Christ, for our rhetoric rather than the Spirit speaking through us. It is this danger which makes me increasingly and ever wary of Christian celebrities. We live in a world where some are famous for being famous, and nothing stops this from happening to those in church. It is too easy to accept a counterfeit, it is too easy to be one. 

May whatever light I shine be the light of the truth of Christ. May whatever life I give be the life of Jesus our Lord. 

1 comment:

Barbara Jean said...

More of Him, less of me. Naivete brought me to a place of hardship and suffering. Hardship and suffering brings me more of Him.