Monday, September 28, 2009
September 29, 2009
The artwork is Cutout by Matisse
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
A Reading from 1 John 2:18-25
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. They 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.
But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. I 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. Who 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. No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. Let 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. And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.
John's primary point is that if we get Jesus wrong, then we shall surely misconstrue the God who saves us; and if our understanding of God is corrupted, then the way we live will inevitably be deformed. The old saw, "It doesn't matter what you believe, so long as you're sincere" is an idea far more naive and dangerous than we imagine. It is also more cowardly because what often passes as 'tolerance' is really indifference. First John compels us to consider that some beliefs we may hold about Jesus are intolerably divergent from God's norm, that some activities in which we may engage are inescapably at odds with the One in whom we have experienced forgiveness and received new life.
Compassionate God, touch our hearts this morning with your mercy and love. Help us to be a source of love and light to those who are suffering this day. May all who die today experience the joy of being in your presence. Grant this through the intercession of all who suffered persecution for the sake of justice. Amen