Last Wednesday, I had two devotions ready. One for the Second Sunday of Christmas. Another for the Epiphany of Our Lord. But before I could send either, I was sidetracked by events in the Capitol. After that, neither seemed all that important. But today, in light of last Sunday’s sermon about baptism, I’ve opted for the one for the Second Sunday … Peace & joy! Even here! Even now!
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 …
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
the DEVOTION …
The assumption we make is that it’s up to us! Anything! Everything! It all depends on our own two hands! At home! Work! School! Even here in church! Matthew speaks the words as a promise. “Everyone who asks receives, everyone who searches finds, everyone who knocks, the door opens.” But we hear them as only as transaction. You receive and find and the door opens, but only if and when you ask and seek and knock!
Same’s true – popularly speaking – about being “bornAgain.” It’s all up to us! Our decision! Our choice! And of course, verse twelve proves it! “To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God!” God said it! I believe it! That settles it! Before god does anything, we have to receive and believe!
It’s funny, though, how assumptions can get in the way of seeing things. Sometimes things right in front of our eyes. In the very next words, John tells us that we’re NOT born of blood! And we’re NOT born of choices! And we’re NOT born of decisions! We’re born, instead, of god! Seems like John’s telling us, if it’s meant to be, it’s NOT up to ME! Maybe, it’s NOT even up to us! But if it’s meant to be, maybe – just maybe – it’s up to god!