S (Scripture): 1 John 1:1 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– 2 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– 3 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.
O (Observation): The community from which the author of 1 John is writing feels very strongly that they have a message to pass on to the recipients of this letter. The author – and the community from which the author writes – is full of an overflowing excitement and spirit based on having had true life revealed to them.
The desire of the author is an extraordinary fellowship, based not solely upon “common interests,” but upon true life revealed to them by being in fellowship with Jesus Christ and God.
(I’ll assume that the Holy Spirit is the vehicle for this fellowship and this revelation.)
A (Application): The excitement that comes from a revelation of the Spirit is unexplainable. I can think back to several times in my life when I FIRST sensed the Spirit joining me to a larger fellowship:
- Becoming a part of All Saints Lutheran Church, in Lilburn, GA, after we moved to Lilburn from Lodi, NJ
- Going to church camps in my middle school years
- Seeking forgiveness from a friend in high school
- When I began dating Kelly (who is now my wife)
- Entering seminary
So many times…some big moments and some smaller moments…I was acknowledging that God was up to something greater than just making me feel comfortable. God was showing me what true fellowship can be like, what it can look like.
Why did God do this? Perhaps so that I can help create a welcoming environment for others, wherever I go (like those who were a part of the fellowship established in 1 John). The most holy thing I know is true fellowship. True fellowship makes room for those who have open hearts and minds to work together, to share our God-given gifts, and to welcome the new kid from New Jersey (the kid with the funny accent)…or to welcome anyone else. : )
Can you name a time when you were welcomed in?
Can you name a time when you welcomed others in to your fellowship?
P (Prayer): Lord, you gather us together into one Spirit. Help us to know that oneness with you and with our neighbor. Amen.