There are moments in our lives which change everything: a madly loved ‘friend’ becomes a fiancée/fiancé, the job promotion comes through, the house sells, the perfect house is found, the diploma is inked, the surgery is successful, and on and on and on. For good or bad, there is an inevitable changeableness to our clay feet humanity. It’s been wryly commented that the only constant is change (the fear of change is also a constant). And yet we creatures of habit enjoy, indeed, insist on establishing routines which ‘guarantee’ predictability, thus naively reassuring ourselves that no surprises will pop up on our horizon. All this, with no history or experience to back up these tenuous dreams. Years ago, friends with 20-year-old twin boys in college were looking forward to early retirement and doing some world travel when a doctor’s visit diagnosed her ‘malady’ as pregnancy! That changed everything! Other friends went to their jobs one morning as usual, to be notified late-morning (in the pre-cell phone era) that their brick home had completely burned to the ground. That changed everything! For all our trying, we remain fragile, unable to truly control much if anything, including ourselves. (These past two years have certainly served as an underline to that!)

A baby named Jesus, born in cold, dark obscurity changed everything. Getting invited to join Jesus’ itinerant ministry changed everything for twelve men. Jesus’ teachings and healings and miracles changed everything for thousands of Jewish men and women. Jesus’ death and Resurrection changed everything – full stop. Jesus’ ‘name above all names’ changes everything – for the church, for us. Jesus is like the quintessential powerhouse sports team that knows only victory after victory. And we are like the fans of that team glowing with pride from ‘our’ win, vicariously bragging about ‘our’ amazing plays, sharing the winners’ platform, receiving the accolades from ‘our’ adoring public (you know who you are!) Since we are already thus inclined, it is so exciting to know that Jesus fully intends for us to do just that, to ‘get in’ on his victory over sin and death! His victory changes everything! We are now his! We now have all his love being poured out on us! We now get, legitimately, to claim ‘our’ victory in Jesus, knowing all the while that we had nothing to do with it except become eternally grateful recipients. ‘Our’ victory is power-packed! ‘Our’ victory has seen to our personal boatload of vicissitudes, securing our overcoming, our survival, our safe arrival home with the Father. ‘Our’ victory is hope-saturated, like the aftermath of an icy, celebratory Gatorade dunk over a coach’s head after a big win (only in America?) ‘Our’ victory is not short-lived, not a one-off, but more like the acronym, GOAT (greatest of all time). ‘Our’ victory gives us bragging rights: brilliant-Jesus bragging rights, famous-Jesus bragging rights, loving-Jesus bragging rights. So good! So true! See y’all tomorrow in cyberspace for more bragging. 10 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM, 6 PM.  PD

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