I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully. I ask for patience, tolerance, compassion, and empathy. I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, and self-importance. I ask to know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly.
1 John 2:18-25
18 Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour.
19They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us.
20But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge.
21I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth.
22Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son.
23No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also.
24Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father.
25And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.
1) "...it is the last hour;" "...many antichrists have come;" "...it is the last hour;" "...for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us;" "...all of you have knowledge;" "...abide;" "...eternal life;" "...and this is what he has promised us, eternal life;"
2) Ugh. So, when all else fails, demonize those who differ in opinion from you, and totalize: if they were part of us they would not have left us. I cannot affirm the arguments here. It denies the grief of breaking with those we have loved. It denies the possibility that there can be two less that perfect understandings of the truth. It denies diversity of opinion and experience. It denies Jesus' teaching, "those who are not against us are with us." The fledgling church experience no end of conflict as it worked out future dogma. But wouldn't Christ have us hold one another compassionately. Christ was far more concerned about feeding the hungry, healing the sick, comforting the grieving and liberating the oppressed than with "the last hour." It pains me what became of his message. Here "Eternal life" has already started to be coopted into an end-times, "other worldly" booby-prize, rather than a lived political reality of treating one another with compassion and empathy. Were we to truly to abide in 'the Father and the Son" and "the Father and the Son" were to abide in us we would not longer feel the need to talk about "antichrists". To "the Father and the Son" what is the "antichrist"?!? Nothing. Eternal life extends in all directions here and now, into our past, outward - connecting us to every part of creation, the heavens and the earth - and into the future, the end (purpose) of all creation. What we heard from the beginning was that "it was good," and that we are beloved as part of that good creation, each of us made in the image and likeness of the creator.
3) What is the invitation in all this? To abide in "the Father and the Son;" to abide in Christ and to let Christ abide in us.
"Holy One, abide in us."
Breathprayer: "Promised... eternal life."