Decreasing and Increasing

This post of the Parable of the Sky begins with a daytime observation of the moon a few days before full moon. At this juncture the moon phase is called “waxing gibbous,” which essentially means it is getting bigger but not quite full. The neat part of this period is that the moon can be observed during the afternoon. As sunlight begins to wane, the moon gets bright fast. The transition period provides a great opportunity to record an observation with daytime backgrounds. Here is the observing sheet:

20141102-moon-palms-by-day

God states the purpose of the moon and sun in Genesis, which is the referenced verse on the observing sheet. The moon, of course, does not have its own light; it can only reflect light from another object. The sun is the dominant or “greater” light. The two objects together have a wonderful play that makes an excellent timepiece.

The greater parable to me are the lessons that come from the increasing and decreasing of the moonlight compared to the sun during the daytime hours.  When both objects can be viewed together during the day, one realizes how truly dominant the sun is, and how the brightness of the moon is entirely dependent on the amount of sunlight at the observer’s location.

If a person has the light of Christ inside, that is what makes a Christian (John 1:9). A Christian hopefully realizes that the “light” is really not his, but the light of the Son in him. To a measure, as a believer grows in Christ, it really means he is decreasing as Christ is increasing. As a believer grows in maturity, there is an increasing awareness that God has increased. Life apart from God decreases in importance.

John the Baptist made a practical statement of this “increasing and decreasing” as he recognized that it was time for him to become less as Christ became more (John 3:30). This was in keeping with the grand purpose of Christ’s purposes for coming and His authority. For a lesser man, since men are often not willing decrease their own importance in deference to another, a conflict would have arisen.

2 Corinthians 2:15 puts the theme of God’s purposes to grow in importance in our lives in terms of smell. Believers, if they are following Christ, have a “savor” or “fragrance” that is identifiable. Conversely, if believers resist God, have a problem of pride or sin, their fragrance is different because there is much less of God in the reality of their lives.

The increasing-decreasing of the greater and lesser lights (sun and the moon, respectively) are also a parable for unbelievers. Christ said that the powerful and learned seldom come to Him. Why not? They are unwilling to “decrease.” Who they are or what they do is much too important to them than bowing to God. Truly, no matter what the state of a person, coming to Christ requires bowing to His Lordship. Few are willing, but they forget that the Son truly gives life. Mankind is pretty fragile, but our self importance often gives the false impression that we are stronger and greater than we are. As Job remarked, if God removed His life from mankind, it would vanish (Job 34:14-15).

So what?

Are you a believer? Then realize that He must increase as you walk through life. Don’t resist Him. Be willing to be humble, not conceited, realizing who you are as His child.  In a manner of speaking, be like the moon. The light we have is because of God’s immense and personal mercy and power. The more we reflect Him, the better.

Are you an unbeliever? Consider your fragile nature and the darkness that lies within. If you are willing to come to Him, declare Him as Lord, He will give you true light and life.

 

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