(Picture via Lil’ Luna)
As the Christmas season begins, with the swirl of activity everywhere, I was wondering about my lack of joy as I sat down to have quiet time with God. Normally, I am excited to get things unpacked, set up, and have presents stacked under the tree, but this year is different in my house. With three weddings in the family this year, people moving to various states and countries, the table will be set for just a few this year, with well-wishes sent far and wide.
So, I began to read the first chapter of 1 John:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to your, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”
I had to stop there and wonder about the last phrase, “What does it mean to have fullness of Joy?” As I looked back on the passage, I could see how it would be easy for John and the other disciples to talk about what he saw with his own eyes, heard with his own ears, and touched with his own hands – they were there with Jesus for three years!
Jealously, I started to think about what that would be like, and then I realized I was missing the point. John was declaring to me, “that which was from the beginning,” “the Word of life,” “that eternal life,” Jesus, Himself. Yes, he had seen and heard and touched Him, but he wanted me to do the same. Why? Because he wants me to have fellowship with Him, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The last sentence is the final kicker, just incase we missed the earlier declarations, and he makes his point crystal clear. He is writing this so that my Joy may be complete.
So, I guess I’m seeing that this Christmas, however different it may be, the table may be a little more crowded as we share the fellowship of the saints, and the incredible gift of the Father and His Son, Jesus. Perhaps, rather than a full house, my joy will be full in any and all circumstances, because of the “life that was manifested to us” so many years ago.
Here’s wishing you fullness of joy in this season, to see, hear, touch, and embrace “that eternal life” that John declared to us!