December 25, I John 1:1-4
By Nodell Dennis, Director of Missions, Blue River-Kansas City Baptist Association
In closing his introductory statement John uses this phrase, "...so that our joy may be made complete." In the paragraph, three phrases stand out — "manifested," "eternal life" and "fellowship."
Our joy is made complete in:
• The manifested life of Jesus Christ. No doubt John enjoyed a luxury we as believers do not enjoy and that is physical contact with the Savior. He heard, saw and handled the Savior. But no fear, we who have spiritual ears and eyes and who have allowed our hands to be His hands have experienced in a very real way the manifested life of the Savior, and we are partakers with Him in kingdom enterprise. It has been and is our joy to hear, see and handle the things of God daily as we find ourselves in His will.
• The fellowship that brings us into a circle of three — fellow believers, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The basis of true fellowship is proclamation of a Living Savior. As we proclaim this good news — that we have fellowship with the One with whom we have become very personal — others are brought into that fellowship.
Bonhoeffer once said that we grow off of each other's experience. Therefore, not only do we need the Father and the Son, we need each other in our varied experiences with Christ. We need each other's help in our daily walk.
• The prospect of eternity spent with Jesus. He said, "I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am there you may be also" (John 14:3).
John has a perspective on eternal life that we do not always have — that eternal life does not begin with death, but the very moment we trust Jesus and that eternal life is not lived in a vacuum. Without Jesus, it is nothing and it cannot be separated from Him. This eternal life was and is Jesus who was with the Father from the beginning and it is ours in Him.
Because of His gift, "may your joy be made complete."