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Son of God

Friday, January 6, 2006

1 John 5:4-5
Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Runners know all about the second wind and the rush of well-being accompanied by the rising endorphins in their bodies. That's an overcoming.

The Illini basketball team learned last year on March 26 how to win a game in the last four minutes when they were "too far" behind to win. Not just for the team but for millions of fans from Key West to Seattle, that was an overcoming.

James Joyce discovered the power of beauty as he pursued God, putting the lie to the legalism he'd been fed in his Irish schools. Calling his experience "epiphany," he found in beauty the essential integrity, wholeness, symmetry and radiance that draw men away from the imperfect to the perfect, away from the world of their own making to God, their maker. That indeed was an overcoming.

And the apostle John speaks strongly about the ultimate overcoming. Overcoming sin and the consequences of sin. Overcoming despair and death. Overcoming the world. Who will accomplish that, and how?

"Only he who believes that Jesus is the son of God." Once again the words of the Bible push me to accept or reject Jesus, not as a wise man, teacher of ethics, miracle worker, or anything less than God himself. Without Jesus' intervention I am powerless over sin and its consequence, death. The world wears me down, chews me up, swallows me, and wins. But with Jesus' act of sacrifice, death and resurrection I am lifted up out of all of that to realized hope, eternal life and human fulfillment.

That's what I mean. Overcoming. Death busted. God's in place the maker of heaven and earth, and me - I'm in place, his son. Overcoming.

This is the day of Epiphany, Lord. I call it that when you break into my mind and give me a glorious moment of clarity. I see you have made me free. You have overcome the world.

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