Dispatch One Hundred Twenty-Nine

Posted: April 13, 2015 in Thirty-Second Bundle
Tags: , , , , , ,

1 John 1:1-2:2

We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. We are writing these things so that ourjoy may be complete.

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true;but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

What later became the really good news (gospel) in the proclamation of Jesus was already good news in the First Testament period, which as that God’s fidelity to us not only exceeds ours to Him, but is fundamentally independent of our performance altogether. “If anyone does sin,” our writer assures us that there is with God an advocate who urges the divine compassion on our behalf, accomplishing our forgiveness and calling us back. This element of compassion is the third component in the dynamics of healthy community.

God’s compassion for the world, for the multitude stumbling in the dark for their true belonging, had moved God to act for the sake of their hope and salvation. Compassion is literally the capacity for sharing in the suffering or experience of another. More than merely an act of sympathetic imagination, compassion is itself a symptom of a deeper identity beneath the duality of ego and other – a kind of resonance-effect from far below the surface differences. God’s compassion for humanity is therefore a function of the divine image inherent in all of us.

And human beings share this capacity, too, for one another. When you feel an urgency to act mercifully on behalf of someone in pain or need, the depth and intensity of your experience reveals a place where you and the other are one.

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