St Gabriel Windows

St Gabriel Windows
Photocopy c. 2013 Jamie Laubacher

Monday, March 04, 2013

We are decreasing, so He may increase...

"He must increase, but I must decrease."  John 3:30

....or, at least I like to think so!  My first sacrament classes have shrunk in size over the last twenty years.  Back when my now, 22 yr old son was making his first sacraments, the class had 26 students.  My daughter's class was 21, my next son's class in 2001 was 13, and was my youngest son's class last year was 7 students.  Yes, it would see we are shrinking. To even have classes up to 20 is amazing in itself for such a small rural community. But now, families are moving away. Small businesses and farming are capsizing. The economy here is very repressed, the job market is just not viable in this area.  So, we see families leaving.  But, we also see the young families that are staying, having babies.  I don't know that we will ever see classes up to the 20s again in the very near future, but maybe someday.....

One thing about a smaller class, such as the beautiful little class I helped make First Reconciliation with yesterday, is that you can spend so much more in-depth time with each student, forming them in Christ.  If they have special needs or special abilities, you can address those a lot better also with more one-on-one attention.  So, I do like to think that while we are decreasing, HE is increasing in all of us. Maybe not exactly as the bible verse indicates, but right on for this pilgrim in ministry. [1] Numbers are wonderful yes, quality is more wonderful and really learning about Our Lord and Savior in a deeper more meaningful way, and His grace sustaining sacraments is at the top.  So, you will never hear me complain about a smaller class :)  I definitely don't look at larger as a feather in our caps....I don't think our Lord would either.  

"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matt 714

[1] Barnes' Notes on the Bible - commentary:
"He must increase, but I must decrease."  John 3:30

He must increase - his authority and influence among the people must grow. his doctrine shall continue to spread until it extends through all the earth.
I must decrease - "The purpose of my ministry is to point men to him. When that is done my work is done. I came not to form a party of my own, nor to set up a religion of my own; and my teaching must cease when he is fully established, as the light of the morning star fades away and is lost in the beams of the rising sun." 

1 comment:

Chris said...

Beautiful sentiment...thanks for sharing that.

Your son is so adorable:)
Congrats to him...and to you and your hubby