Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.
Greetings dear reader. Today’s reading contains very familiar words we repeat every Sunday as part of our Service. These are powerful words worth repeating at least on a weekly basis. John clearly establishes Christ as our advocate with the Father and that he is the expiation for our sins. Sound familiar? Yes, I thought so. He starts by addressing us as “My little children”. He places himself in the role as teacher and “parent” and one who cares very deeply about us.
Like most loving parents, he urges us not to sin. However, he knows that we will. As parents we have the dual role to teach what to do and what not to do and to protect us from the consequences when we do not obey. We are not perfect. We are born not perfect and “there is no health in us”. Our lack of perfection and our continued failure to do what we know is right often leads to quilt and shame leading to unhappiness. When I have experienced depression in my life, it is when I over focus on me and my weakness.
John says not to worry. It is OK. Jesus paid the price for my sin and I am OK. And further more, Christ died for everyone, not just me. What is my payment? - To “keep his word” and follow him. John, speaking to Jews and Gentiles reminds us that this is not a new Commandment but brings new meaning and power to an old one. Not only does Christ’s sacrifice make us OK but takes us from darkness to light. My periods of depression were very much like being in the dark. The sense of fumbling, running into things, having to feel my way and always with the fear of impending harm in front of me. Knowing the love of God and experiencing a personal relationship with Christ lifts the blinds and lets God’s light into my life. This light comes from the people around me. To love my brother is to allow God’s light to shine on me. But I have to be open to my brother to allow this to happen. May God help me to do this more and more.