Friday 03 January 2014

Bible Book:
1 John

1 John 2:29 – 3:6 Friday 3 January 2014


I have turned toThe Messagefor today's passage. The scholar,Eugene Peterson seems to have found words which can point readersof the letter to the central core of the message that John istrying to convey to those who are to receive it.

We have already, in this rather gloomy letter, read about liarsand the antichrist. Here we are beginning to be told how hisreaders can not only protect themselves from those who are tryingto draw them away from the central message of Jesus who cannot beseparated from the Christ, but also can take on a lifestyle whichwill help them endure until the time comes for the ascended Jesusto return. "Stay with Christ" he writes: in other words endeavournot to be distracted by worldly values but live up to the patternshown in the life of the human Jesus and obedient to the laws oflove he put before the people.

The letter written to the community for which it was intendedmight well be a message written for today. As I write these words Ihave been listening to the many tributes to Nelson Mandela. One ofthe comments I received from a friend was "Now his long walk tofreedom is over and thank you for teaching me that to fail toforgive is to imprison yourself". I say "Amen" to those words butalso am aware that they would have resounded to those reading thatletter from John in the face of the difficulties they were facing.So many people in the world today put "self" at the centre - may wewho have committed ourselves to Christ and his commands be anexample which will make a difference not just for ourselves but forour neighbours wherever they might be.

To Ponder

  • How can we best demonstrate that we "stay with Christ" as Johninstructs in his letter?
  • Someone commented in the light of the news as I write, "we haveto learn to hate, we do not need to learn to love". How do yourespond to that comment?
  • Read the hymn "How great thou art" (Singing the Faith 82).Meditate on it in the light of John's words.
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