“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.” 1 John 1:1-4
John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” had loved Him deeply in their three years together, and was compelled and inspired by the Holy Spirit to write about the fellowship of love Jesus offered His people. What was real experience to him in his relationship with his Savior, involving all his senses, he would proclaim in writing for God’s people to have forever forward, awakening a divine fellowship among them that would also last forever. (John 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20)
As in his gospel, John begins “from the beginning,” reaching to eternity past to establish the unique existence of Jesus, and his message spans eternal life from then through present proclamation to forever completed joy. Now, he could not hold in his amazing experience with Jesus, but wanted to proclaim it with all who would believe and know it also. He has an urgency because it was the greatest gift any could know. (John 1:1)
What is my daily experience with Jesus? How often do I take time to recount, and thank Him for, the ways He has revealed Himself to me, showing up in a present flood of peace, appearing in a friend or a note in the mail, or captivating me with a piece of His magnificent creation? Am I attentive enough to hear Him speak through a situation, or clearly through His word, or one of His people? When He touches me with a firm hand of correction, or inexplicable comfort, what is my reaction? How receptive am I? In what ways have I seen Him work in answer to specific prayer, in the invisible through changed attitudes or the quelling of an agitated spirit, in spite of me? Are my senses awake enough to hear, see, and touch my Savior when I meet with Him?
Once I know the sweetness of His fellowship, how can I help but share it with others? How am I shining His joy and bringing others into His fold?
“Break through my nature, mighty, heavenly love,
Clear every avenue of thought and brain,
Flood my affections, purify my will,
Let nothing but Thine own pure life remain. Thus wholly mastered and possessed by God,
Forth from my life, spontaneous and free,
Shall flow a stream of tenderness and grace,
Loving, because God loved, eternally.” ~Emily May Grimes (1868-1927)
Ever present, indescribable, inexpressible Lord, thank You for the gift of loving fellowship with You. As You have made Yourself real to me, may I make You real to others, that they also may know Your deepest, everlasting joy. (2 Corinthians 9:15)