1 John 1:1-4
“I would never believe it if I hadn’t seen it for myself!” Was that your sentiment when you first saw a natural wonder like the Grand Canyon? Was that your response after witnessing the effects of a natural disaster? Have you said something similar after watching a world-class athlete or hearing a gifted musician? After seeing a coyote running along one of the busiest streets in town, I said those words. A church member was skeptical of a news story about coyotes being within the city limits until a friend and I described what we had seen.
Scripture brims with accounts of those who witnessed something astonishing. First John begins with a similar joyful proclamation. The author has witnessed God’s incarnation and testifies to seeing and physically touching Jesus. This experience leads to the deep desire to share this truth with everyone: 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 (vv. 3-4). For joy to be complete, it must be shared.
This letter becomes a way that someone with a joyful firsthand experience of God’s love through Jesus Christ makes that encounter of God’s love known to readers across generations. Grace is a gift that must be shared; it comes with a purpose for us and for others. Receiving it sets us on a mission.
Whenever we share our account of God’s love, we know a fullness of joy that we cannot experience otherwise. When have you experienced the fullness of joy that comes from sharing an experience of God’s love?
In what joyful way could you share your experience of God’s love today? Through a letter? Through a conversation?
Joyful God, guide me to share your joy more fully today. Amen.