There’s a clear echo of the prologue of the Fourth Gospel as we begin. This is logos theology, and freely using imagery of light and dark. The twist is to acknowledge sin in the first person plural, rather than ‘they’ knowing him not while we get eternal life. What community does not need the reminder?
Here is the message – and here are the moral implications. As the ‘New Creed’ of the UCC puts it ‘we are not alone’ – thank God for the company we keep! On the flip side, we will be urged to resist ‘the world’, ‘the darkness’, and ‘them’. Love one another – since everybody else hates us, and we them. That extends to hating our own failures of participation.
This is deceptively easy to skim, and gets harder to read, for us glib liberals. It’s pretty good news for those of us shaken in our narcissism and smug security!
1 John 1
1 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—
2this 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—
3we 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.
4We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
5 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.
6If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true;
7but 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.
8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.