Saturday, December 27, 2008

John, Apostle and Evangelist 1 John 1:1-9

The word of life was revealed

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life - this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us - we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Comment: I have served two congregations named for St. John the Evangelist. Pastors are always looking for a time to party and the patronal feast is always a good idea, but with St. John’s feast coming two days after Christmas I could never sell that party.

It is also interesting that the reading for the feast comes from one of the epistles. There is some question if the Epistles of John and the Gospel were written by the same person. Certainly they were written by people steeped in the same theology, the community of St. John. But there is evidence that the Epistles of John were written some years later when the theology of the Gospel of the John had evolved.

The Johanine community understood that sin—no matter how small, could ruin one’s relationship with God. It was for that reason that confession of sin and knowing the forgiveness of God is essential to understanding the greatness of God. There is such a feeling of gratitude when I know that I am forgiven for my mistakes, foolishness or even my intended nastiness. The humility is good for my soul and makes me vulnerable enough to allow God’s love to be planted in my heart. It allows the transformation to become more Christ-like in my behavior, more peace-loving in heart and more centered in God with my life.

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