My wife Anita, she likes Coca-Cola. I mean, she really likes it. She drinks Coke every day. First thing in the morning. You like Starbucks. She likes Coke. Every day. Did I mention like every day? So woe be unto me when I should find a good sale at the grocery store on Pepsi. We're not allowed to utter that word around our house. Pepsi. It's important to her that we know the difference. It may be small to you, but for her, it's not so small. The difference between Pepsi and Coke. And I've been thinking, what's all this fuss about the NFL and playoffs and who the best team is? Chiefs fans, bills fans, Kansas City Buffalo. The football teams are all the same. There's no difference. Maybe a big difference to you, but it's a small difference to me. Have you ever noticed how small differences can become really important to us? We will wage war over a football game that will be forgotten in about a week and a half. For some reason, small differences are very important to us. So I find it difficult to explain that the majority of Americans today say it doesn't matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons. I mean, what's the difference? Small minute differences over the tiniest things will cause us to argue, debate, even fight. But you change the subject to the most important subject in life - God - and most Americans say, "Eh, just believe what you want. They're all the same." Now, I'm weird. I know that. I really love the Nicene creed. It's actually my favorite part of the mass. And in that creed-- it was created because early folks were saying, "Eh, just believe what you want." The church said, "It doesn't work that way." Faith, belief, or doctrine, it's not a democracy, and it's not just a matter of personal choice. You don't just pick the items you like. Quite the opposite is true. Jesus was begotten, not made. For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son. That whosoever believed in Him should not perish but should have everlasting life. Now, it may not sound like much to you, but that word begotten, it's pretty important. It means that Jesus came of God, of the same substance of God. God didn't make Jesus. Jesus is not created like you and I are. He has nothing less than God himself. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. Now I do think it's important to note that no other religion in the world believes that. None. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam. No other religion. They might suggest that Jesus was a great man, a great teacher, a pointer toward God, but he wasn't God. He wasn't fully God and fully human. He wasn't true God from true God. In other words, all religions aren't the same. Jesus Christ is unique. He is the door. So again, Jesus said to them, truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not heed them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. The word of God became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory. The glory of the one and only. John 1:14. In other words, when you see Jesus, you see God. That's the most basic claim of Christianity. He is unique. There is no other like him. When he embraces little children and says, "Unto these belong the Kingdom of Heaven," you see God. When He corrects the adulterous woman and says, "Go and leave your life of sin," you see God. When they nail Him to the cross and cast lots for his garments and taunt Him from below and He gazes toward heaven and says, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do," you and I see God. And even more than seeing God, Jesus invites you to collaborate with Him. Jesus became man to open the door to a new kind of life, a life full of holy moments and abundant life. The choice is yours. It's entirely up to you. But please, please, please understand that all religions are not the same because everything is not the same. Some things are true. And some things are most important of all. Just ask Carol. Quiet, reserved, a worker behind the scenes in the church until she contracted brain cancer. And I asked her permission to share our visit with you. People in the parish had been taking them dinner, and Anita and I signed up to help to follow in that example of caring and love. And we sat down at the table and I expected to talk with her husband, Mike, a well-spoken leader in the church. But Carol, quiet, reserved, behind the scenes Carol, began to talk, and talk, and talk. She talked about Jesus. And how He'd been beside her during an awful journey to wait to learn that what she had wasn't MS, it wasn't benign cancer. Somehow what she contracted was malignant aggressive brain cancer. "Some days have been good," she said, "and some days have been dreadful," but she said, "All of them have been filled with the grace of God." Carol talked about her faith. How she had shared what matters most with her mother and her siblings. Now, several people in her family had come home to the faith because of what they had seen in her suffering faith and the witness of her parish loving her and caring for her. I said, "Carol, you have become an evangelist." Quiet, reserved Carol had been transformed by the grace of God and the hand of Jesus that even when she was fighting for her life and battling the pains of chemo and radiation, she knew all religions aren't the same. No. She realized, more than ever, that what is most important is starkly clear: Jesus is begotten, not made. He's fully human and fully God. Either that statement is true or it isn't. And Carol was betting that it is.