Only God is God. This maxim, known widely as the “Protestant Principle,” seems especially poignant this year. It is fitting every year, as it is fitting every month, week, and day, but perhaps is just a bit moreso this one. 2016 draws to a close at a time when many people are troubled, anxious, afraid. As I scroll Facebook, read headlines and monitor newsfeeds, I recall this notion and find in it reassurance, perspective and hope.
I find that the comfortable chairs life settles us into are also not so easily upset by this warning. Our earthly comfort also makes it difficult and all too disruptive to give our entire allegiance, faith, and trust to God and God only. And so God’s sovereignty is all too easily replaced with lesser things. His patience is all too easily tried, even by his most faithful.
As we prepare for the arrival of the Word made flesh, we remember that before he was flesh, he was Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John has prepared the way with his baptism of repentance; the new era is about to dawn in Christ, and God remains God.
Heavenly Father, Word of Life, you demand of us complete faith and trust in you at all times. We confess that as your Son is about to be born in our midst, we continue to try your patience with our sinful behavior and lack of faith. We seek self-security and so we cling to the idols we have made of ourselves, one another, and you. Open our hearts this week to receive you as God, Lord, and Messiah, Immanuel, God with us. Help us to trust, embrace, and hope in you and you only. Amen.
Rev. Eric C. Alm, STS