I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully. I ask for patience, tolerance, compassion, and empathy. I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, and self-importance. I ask to know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly.
1 John 2:1-6
2My 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; 2and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
3 Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. 4Whoever says, ‘I have come to know him’, but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; 5but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him: 6whoever says, ‘I abide in him’, ought to walk just as he walked.
1) "...we have an advocate;" "...for the sins of the whole world;" "...Whoever says, 'I have come to know him', but does not obey his commandments, is a liar;" "...the love of God has reached perfection;" "...whoever says, 'I abide in him', ought to walk just as he walked;"
2) I should think there are few of us who could walk "just as he walked." Another call to humility. I'm not really happy with the image of "the father" in this passage, as if God is wrathful and wanting to do violence to us and Jesus is the only thing preventing that. Not my theology. I do want those of us to who claim the narrative of Jesus to behave more as he behaved. Its a constant struggle. Daily are the trials, but so are the blessings. Yesterday had many blessings, and so too, already, has today. "I have come to know him." What exactly does it mean to "come to know him?" I witness Christ. I believe Christ communes with me and I with him. I believe we have journeyed together, intimately, throughout my life. But would I claim, "I have come to know him?" There are people in my life I might make that claim about, though few. I even surprise myself on no few occasions. What exactly does it mean to say, "I have come to know him?" I'm sure there are plenty of folk out there who make great claims about their knowledge of Christ. I am just terribly, terribly grateful for the ways in which I experience Christ manifest in my life and the life of my community, and I endeavor to live, motivated by that experience. We don't spend enough energy observing the claim that Jesus is atoning "for the sins of the WHOLE world."
3) What is the invitation in all this? To live as one who has "known" Christ.
"Holy One, keep us in the truth, help make us honest."
Breathprayer: "Know him... abide in him."