Saint John’s words can set our hearts racing. The end is near! Antichrists have appeared! Time is running out! But these words are two thousand years old. There have always been antichrists. There will always be danger. There is really nothing to distinguish this age from any other. As the Book of Ecclesiastes tells us, ‘there is nothing new under the sun’.
So, does this mean that God really doesn’t care about our struggles? Or maybe he is anxious about how we will bear up under the pressures of this age? Well, the answer lies in today’s Gospel: Jesus Christ, the Word of God, has existed since even before the beginning of creation. He was with the Father before the first sin was committed, and he will remain after every enemy has been defeated. He is the eternal constant in our lives, outlasting every evil the world could ever devise.
Regardless of the ups and downs of life, Jesus is our firm foundation. He has bound himself to us in an unbreakable covenant of love. In him, we can respond to all the pressures of the world. Through him we can work to remedy injustice and falsehood. When we hear troubling news reports of terrible things happening, we can look back on our human history and know that tyrants and tyrannies may come and go, but Jesus remains constant. History is really his story, and no one else’s.
So as one year ends and another begins, we should never forget that we are the children of God. He who is from all eternity will guide us as we face the challenges of 2017.