For only the second day of the year, the first reading today smacks you right in the face with the question,"Who's the liar?"
All this week, the last full week of Christmas, we are reading the first letter of John. There John is dealing with a fierce split in the community between those who believe in Jesus and those who deny him, the anti-Christ. Yep, that's right. The anti-Christ is not some all powerful supernatural competitor as portrayed in the movies.
According to John, the Antichrist is precisely that, those who are anti Christ, those who deny the truth about Jesus.
As we start the new year perhaps it would be good for each of us to look inside ourselves and ask if there are ways in which we deny Christ. I don't mean in the narrow sense. After all, if you didn't believe in Jesus you probably wouldn't be reading this blog.
Our ways of denying Jesus are subtle. We reject some part of what he taught. We doubt his love for us. We doubt the power of his grace in our lives. We deny his ability to change things. When we let anxiety take over, when we loose hope about anyone or anything,are we not then in some sense Antichrist. After all what good does it do to say we believe in Jesus, if we do not truly trust him with our lives.
For a real Christian the word hopeless has no meaning. Who or what could possibly be hopeless? People who talk that way are as John would say, the liar.
On this second day of the new year let us watch our words and our actions, may none of them be anti-Christ.