Our pastor has begun preaching through I John. This week he covered I John 1: 1-4. Each word of the sermon was of such a wonderful nature that I was scribbling madly during the entire length of it, so that at the end of it my sheet of paper, which at the beginning had been white and blank, was laced with spidery confused sentences. And yet I hope the truth and beauty of the words will shine through the choppy sentences and plain words and bring a brightness to your week.
“That which was from the beginning” references both the beginning of creation and also the new beginning when Christ came to earth. In Greek to “look upon” something means not only to glance at something, but to observe and examine it closely. The apostles were official witnesses to the fact that Jesus really came in the flesh. Most of the things we believe to be true are based upon the testimony of others. The disciples go from a group of frightened men hidden together in an upper room fearing for their own lives to a group of fearless apostles, proclaiming what had happened despite the threat of death, and, indeed, most of them did die for their testimony. This was certainly not a group of men doing things for their own advantage.
Christian fellowship is not a type of school or club in which we share ideas, instead we share a bond through our connection to the living Christ and through Him to the Father. It is easy to avoid an invisible God, but if we wish to have fellowship with Him, it is easy as well. All we must do is seek Jesus. We can only have this fellowship with the Father if Jesus came in the flesh. This is not dry theology, it is a fact that should make a difference in the way we live. John is writing this epistle that we might always have the inextinguishable joy spoken of in John 16:22. To most of us joy is something that comes and goes, however instead it should be a constant spring for the life of Christ is always flowing. So as we have constant access to the life of Christ, our lives ought always to be overflowing with joy. This state of joyfulness does not mean that you are always 'happy', however it should mean that you always have a deep feeling of satisfaction and thankfulness for what God has done and is doing in the world. Our joy does not depend upon that which is going on around us, rather it is based upon what we share in God through Christ. And nothing can steal that, unless you allow it to.(The photo credits go to my father who took them while on a recent trip back to Seattle.)