We must become less.

Sitting in a baccalaureate rather than presiding over it as I did as chaplain at Covenant those 14 years was a great experience.

The student exhortations were funny, brief and meaningful. The music was incredible, we sang “In Christ Alone” to organ accomplishment and were treated to a piece by Bach in German presented by a soprano accompanied by two flutes and organ in the incredible Gordon College Chapel.


The worship through preaching was presented by Rev. Dr. Raymond Pendleton, who is retiring after more than four decades of teaching at Gordon-Conwell.


I found his sermon apt for we Gordon-Conwell Seminary graduates who have academics and accomplishment on our minds. His message centered on this:
“He must increase, but I must decrease.” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:30‬ ‭ESV‬ http://bible.com/59/jhn.3.30.esv

I deeply appreciated his heart and his words. Here are a couple of quotes:

He noted it was himbling to work among such scholars at Gordon-Conwell, noting. “I’m not a scholar, I’m a practitioner.” That was great to hear. I know the feeling.

He focused on our identity at signposts pointing to Jesus. Again, applying the Baptizer: Jesus must increase as we decrease. 

Thus “We ought to be faithful in pointing others to Jesus.”

And then he reminded us that: “The best leaders recognize and empower others to go beyond themselves.”

And.

“The leader must be willing to become less.”

There will now be some Pendleton quotes in my leadership course. 

At the end we sang a great hymn, written by A. J. Gordon, for whom Gordon College is named.

1 My Jesus, I love thee, I know thou art mine;

for thee all the follies of sin I resign;

my gracious Redeemer, my Savior art thou;

if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

2 I love thee because thou hast first loved me

and purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;

I love thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow;

if ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

3 I’ll love thee in life, I will love thee in death,

and praise thee as long as thou lendest me breath,

and say when the deathdew lies cold on my brow:

If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

4 In mansions of glory and endless delight,

I’ll ever adore thee in heaven so bright;

I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow:

If ever I loved thee, my Jesus, ’tis now. 
Let us point to Jesus today, not at ourselves. Bask in His work not our own. That I wish to be reminded of as I receive today.

Sola Christo 

Soli Deo Gloria

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