the second sunday of christmas
the PRAYER. . .
Almighty God, you have filled all the earth with the light of your incarnate Word. By your grace empower us to reflect your light in all that we do, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING. . .
All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.
the DEVOTION. . .
A handful of years after the pilgrims stepped onto Plymouth Rock, a debate broke out among the Baptists in Rhode Island. On one hand, there was a group who believed Jesus died for all humanity and it was up to the individual to decide if their fate. They were called the General Baptists. On the other hand, there was another group who believed heaven or hell was god’s choice – predestination, it’s called – and they thought Jesus died only for those going to heaven. They were known as Particular Baptists. It seems silly, now. But at the time, it mattered.
But I got to thinking how the writer of the fourth gospel might have responded. Eye roll? Head slap? No doubt, he would’ve had a hard time understanding the whole thing. You see, John’s Jesus – the Jesus of the fourth gospel – didn’t die just for the saved … and he didn’t just die for humanity … he died for all creation! Every atom! Every cell! Every planet! Every star! Every blade of grass! Every grain of sand! For God so loved the cosmos! That’s what he writes! For god so loves it all! Animal! Vegetable! Mineral! It’s through Christ it was all created! And it’s through Christ it’s all salvaged! Particular? General? Truth is god – Jesus – loves everything!
Bob Barndt, pastor