Daily Reflection
December 31st, 1999
Steve Kline
Public Relations
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
1 John 2:18-21
Psalms 96:1-2, 11-13
John 1:1-18

"No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has
the Father as well."
-- 1 John 2:23

" . . . to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God
. . . "
-- John 1:12

Here we are on the eve of 2000, in the middle of our joyful celebration of the birth of Jesus, and today's first reading mentions "antichrists."

Tell me why I should pay attention to this.  What does the shopworn notion of "antichrist" have to do with me?

Well, it might have something to do with me if I think of "antichrist" in terms of things that separate me from feeling and responding to God's love.  Lust and greed, the unbridled wanting of things, of power, would be among the antichrists in my life.  Unreasonable fear would be another.  Anything that opens the distance between me and God can be thought of as an antichrist.

I try to puzzle out how I can dodge the antichrists and stay close to God.  But that's backwards.  God always is near.  His love and presence have nothing to do with what I might do or fail to do.  

His love is constant.

Today's Gospel reading says the Son reveals the Father.  The Father expresses
his love for us through the Son. 

Some people grasp this truth with ease.  Not me.  I am a plodder and slow to understand.  Only in recent years has the truth of God's love for me -- for all of us -- taken root in my heart.  I had to become a father for this to happen.  I could not understand the steadfast, deep love of God before I became a parent.  I probably knew affection, desire, regard for others.  Only when I became a dad did I learn what it means to be willing to die for another.  Astounding love.  Astounding that God loves me this way.  Loves us all.

My kids fight with one another and the neighbor kids.  They hurt each other.  At times they're defiant.  They're supremely self-centered.  They're kids.  And there is nothing -- nothing -- that could put out the fire of love for them that God has kindled in my heart.

God lives in the mysterious bond of love between parent and child.  
Just as the Son reveals the Father, my children reveal the deep love that is within me.  If that love is even a faint reflection of God's love for us, we are in very good hands. 

Viewed in this warm light of God's love, what becomes of my silly competitions, jealousies, divisions and fears?  Our Father embraces me.  How will I respond?

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Online Ministries
Home Page
for Sunday
Online Retreat
Daily Readings Texts
from the
New American Bible
Daily Readings Texts
from the
RSV Bible
Spirituality Links
Saint of the Day
Collaborative Ministry Office 
Home Page
University Ministry
Home Page
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook