August 28, 2019
Scripture: 1st John 1:3-4
What we have seen and heard, we also announce it to you so that you can have fellowship with us. Our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that our joy can be complete.
Thought for the Day: What is the goal of Christianity? How do you understand the goal? Answering these questions is really quite revealing in regard to a person’s understanding of God and what it means to live as a follower of Jesus. Fellowship is central to the author of 1st John. Community with God and with one another appears to be the (or maybe one of the) central goal(s) of Christianity according to 1st John. As you look at Luke’s Gospel or Paul’s Letter to the Church at Galatia or any other part of Christian Scripture, you will find different understandings of that goal. That may sound troubling to some people, but even though there are many different thoughts on what the goal might be, there is an important connecting point in all of them. Not only is there a goal for each author, but there is a clear understanding of what it looks like to work toward the goal. Without having a specific goal and direction to your faith, you can always claim success because there is no way of actually measuring it. A clear and definable purpose begins with a named goal informed by the unconditional love of God. It is followed by a game plan that includes practical and measurable objectives. It will look a little different from one person to the next, in the same way it looked different among the different authors of scripture who were each living in very different contexts. I started this post with two questions, but I hope to workout the answer to those questions in a very personal and tangible way. Yet some prefer the vague and nebulous approach to Christianity where, at any given moment, they are achieving nothing and thus can claim success.
Prayer: Bring me into the work of your amazing and transformative love. Provide me, Merciful God, with clear picture of who I am, what my gifts are, and the place where those gifts can bring the greatest amount of good. Keep me focused on where this good work is going, for it is easy to become distracted and fall into a complacency brought about by an ambiguous picture of what your gift, Jesus, has called me to do. It is in his name that I pray. Amen.
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