That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. – 1 John 1:1-4
When Lauren and I reached our first anniversary we took a trip to San Antonio and the boardwalk. Now, I am pretty thrifty and have been known to seek out giveaways whenever possible. So when the concierge told me if we could spare a few minutes of our time we could get a free hotel at a timeshare and a 5 star meal during our trip…there was no hesitation. Little did I know I was walking into a huge trap where we would be pressured to buy a timeshare. Again, this was our first anniversary and as a pastor we were not exactly in the market for this endeavor. Still I just figured we would say no 100 times and then get a great dinner out of it. You probably know the pitch; they basically convince you that you can’t afford not to buy into their scheme. They have a great pitch and I was impressed, though of course, we said no in the end….a lot! However, can you imagine if they said, “With this purchase you will find complete joy.” That’s weird right? You would write them off as crazy and not listen to another word. Or what if you were visiting our church and I walked up and said, “Welcome…here you will find complete joy.” Again, you would head for the doors.
In this letter from 1 John, the author is going to say exactly this; “Come join our fellowship, find complete joy.” How can he possibly claim such a bold and ridiculous thing? Well consider what he says in the opening of the letter. He says that which was from the beginning, the Word of Life, we have seen him, our hands have touched him…he is the eternal life and we have fellowship with him. Jesus is in our squad! And this is not to brag; rather it is to say we have fellowship with the God of the universe.
The community that is in fellowship with God in Christ will find complete joy. Life can be so tough, but joy is that confidence that God knows you and loves you no matter what. Do you know that joy? Are you experiencing community that brings you into fellowship with Jesus?
This is no sales pitch. John is saying there is more to life than what you are walking through and the community that is in fellowship with Christ has complete joy. Come and join.