by Sian Huey

A reflection on 1 John 1

We use the word ‘fellowship’ a lot in Christian circles. When we invite a friend to hangout for mamak after church, we might say “come lah, join us for some fellowship”, or when we gather in a homogeneous group we call it ‘Life Fellowship’ or ‘Ladies Fellowship’. What we’re really saying is “Let’s share life!”. But not just our own life…we’re sharing together the life of God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is for this Fellowship that the apostles proclaimed to us the Good New of Jesus- so that we may join in their fellowship with God, and then with one another (1 John 1:3-4). When we meet as CLGC, or in our LFs or Bible study groups, we are not just meeting in our own identity. We’re sharing in the fellowship of the saints from all the ages.

So, let’s not take this fellowship for granted. What Fellowship have we been called into? What were the defining marks of the early disciples of Jesus? What should we look like, sound like, smell like?

JOY – “That you may fully share our joy” (1 John 1:4)
Instead of seeming to impose new obligations, [Christians] should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet. It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but ‘by attraction’.” – Pope Francis

LIGHT – “God is light” (1 John 1:5-7)
The passage says if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other. A quick Thesaurus.com search will render results such as bright, luminous, clear, brilliant, lucent, unobscured, vivid. What else can you think of when you think about light?

How can we bring more knowledge, clarity, transparency, truth-telling, brightness and warmth into our fellowship?

CONFESSION – “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves” (1 John 1:8)
In a world of finger-pointing, back-biting and self-preservation, Jesus challenges us to be counter-cultural. To confess that we are sinners is to allow for Christ to work in our hearts so that we can live in unity with our fellow Christians.

Take out the log in your own eye first, then you can see clearly to remove the speck in your
brother’s eye!” (Matthew 7:3)
If a brother sins against you, go and tell him, if he repents, forgive him.” (Luke 17:3)
“And if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I
repent,’ you forgive him!” (Luke 17:4)
Confess your sins to one another…” (James 5:16)

If we can do this, we will be a light to the world, a force for good, a trailer of Heaven!