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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Today’s Reading | 1 John 1:1–10

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.

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. (NRSV)


When I was growing up I remember on Saturday afternoons when my dad would come back from his long run of the week and he was sweaty and tired and he would sit directly in the sun in a chair on the back patio. He would slouch his body in the chair and tilt his head back absorbing the warmth and brightness of the sun’s rays. Something about that image is profound to me—letting the warmth and light of the sun shine on his face and overwhelm his body almost as an act of fellowship and intimacy with the sun.

I think this is the message that John is conveying to his readers in 1 John 1:5. He is telling them about God: “God is light and there is no darkness in him at all”—almost as if he is answering a little child’s question about what God is like. And John, not missing the opportunity, points with his finger to the sun, “You see that huge yellowish-orange ball in the sky, that bright light shining down, that is what God is like.”

John is calling us to fellowship with the Light in whom there is no darkness. He is reminding us how much we need the Light because we are so stricken by the darkness: knowing ourselves, being in relationships, working, driving home in traffic, watching the evening news. So often we are absorbed in fellowship with the difficulties and darkness of everyday life. Thankfully John, as a fellow pilgrim, calls us to fellowship with the Light Giver—our good and gracious, holy God. Friends, today, as we walk toward brighter and sunnier days, let us together bask in the sun because we need it. Let’s bask in the rays of our loving God because we need the Light.


God, in your mercy, shine your face on me today. Amen.

Written by Daniel Holladay, Administrative Assistant to Children, Youth, and Family Ministry and the Day School

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