“We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.(I John 1:1-4)
When an event is so unique, so extraordinary, it is hard to know how to start to explain it. So if it sounds like the writer of I John is having trouble getting started, that might be why. This is not the polished writing of one such as the writer of Roman, Hebrews, or the epistles to the Corinthians. This is a heartfelt letter that tries to tell what the writer experienced first hand.
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (Verses 5-10)
This scripture passage (and from what I have read, the entire letter) seeks to confirm that Jesus came in the flesh and came from God, and that Jesus was the Divine connection between humanity and God. This letter is not meant to convince unbelievers but to gird up the faith of believers, similar to my purpose actually.
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:1-2)
“My little children” – that does sound like some of the salutations I have used; “beloved reader”, “gentle reader”, “beloved”, “dear reader”. It is not my purpose (nor I think the writer of I John) to belittle the reader or talk down to the reader. The care, compassion, and purpose of writing is to be a conduit for God’s love and the message that the writer feels God has given to him or her.
May you, beloved reader, bask in the love and redemption that Christ offered and God intended. Selah!