1 John 1 could be called the Gospel of St. John because in it is contained the essence of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The good news Great News is that God has made it possible for man to have eternal life with the Father. Before, this was not the case, because we walked in darkness and were children of darkness, separated from God by our sins.
But at Christmas, God the Father so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son to the world as the first and best Christmas present. St. John was a witness to that Son, the Word of life which was from the beginning, and his eyes saw Him and his hands touched Him. St. John the Evangelist, chosen by God to be His holy witness and apostle, did not fail to proclaim what he had seen, heard, and touched, and he writes to us that we too may believe.
St. John, the apostle of love, the disciple whom Jesus loved, demonstrates his love (which is the love of God) by sharing with us the Word of life that had first been shared with him. He has such love for those who are not in the light and have not seen the Word of life that he wants to share the Word with them. Out of the love which he learned from the Master, John wants to share the fellowship that was given to him.
The Great News begins with God Himself and with us. God is light, and in Him there is no darkness. But this is a big problem for us, because on our own we walk in darkness, and this means that we cannot walk with God, with whom there can be no darkness. This is the central problem of mankind, even when we do not recognize it. We are in darkness, and God is light, and the two can never meet.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, then we can have fellowship with Him and with one another. But how can this happen, since we are in darkness?
It was for this reason that Jesus, the Light of the World, was sent into this dark and weary world. He who is God of God and Light of Light became man; only He became the perfect man, the only one to walk in the light. What we could not do, He did for us. He perfectly kept the Law, and He perfectly obeyed the will of the Father who sent Him for us. Christmas and Easter are connected because He humbled Himself to be made a man that He might further humble Himself to the point of death, death upon the Cross. In doing this, He who was light took upon Himself our darkness and sin.
We all know the rest of the story. The light triumphed over the darkness, and the kingdom of heaven was now open to men.
But something is still missing. We are still in darkness. How can we who are still darkness have fellowship with the light? We know that we sin in our darkness, but He who is Light has promised to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness, if we confess our sins.
Here is where the light meets the darkness and conquers it: it is first in Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, the Life Eternal, and second, it is in all who faithfully seek the Light by confessing our sins before Him and turning (repenting) from the darkness and walking in the light.
The Great News is that if we do this one thing, we too can now have fellowship with God because when we are in the Light, we too are light. And light can have fellowship with light. We now can have the life eternal, and we can also have fellowship with St. John and each other and all who are also in the light.
This is the Gospel of St. John from 1 John 1.
John has two purposes in faithfully telling us these things. The first was that we might have fellowship with God and with one another. The second (verse 4) is that our joy may be full.
Today, let us seek the light and the fellowship and the joy that come from walking in the Light.
Resolution: I resolve today to meditate on the Good News that St. John brings and to receive it with joy.
Prayer: Blessed be You Father, for out of Your love You sent Your Son to be the Light of the World. Thank You for translating me out of the kingdom of darkness and into Your glorious kingdom of light. By the grace of Your Holy Spirit may I be enabled to walk in the light as Jesus Christ is in the Light, that I may have fellowship with you and all others who are in Your light. Amen.
Point for Meditation:
Find a source of light, preferably the sun, and spend a few minutes meditating in the light. Meditate on God who is light and the light He has sent to You through His Son.
© 2012 Fr. Charles Erlandson
Category: Give Us This Day