“Just suppose I could show you a way to accomplish anything and everything you choose to accomplish in your life... You would be interested in hearing about that, wouldn't you?” James Arthur Ray, promoting his “Harmonic Wealth Weekends”
There have always been plenty of people claiming to have some secret knowledge - something which, for the initiated, brings them into the real "secret" of life, into wealth, success and happiness. This recent one required being in a sweat lodge with 60 other people ... and $10,000.
John has something entirely different - public knowledge. He is telling us what he (and others) saw, touched and heard. His message is not based on someone's ideas. It comes from something that happened. This message, the gospel is not good advice. It is good news.
This public fact - the life, death and resurrection of Jesus - is what convinced me to be a Christian. And it is what I go back to when I have doubts, when I begin to wonder if this is all something we have made up, group think, no different than the poor deluded people in the sweat lodge. Something happened - and I can find no other explanation, no other conclusion for it than the one John and his friends came to.
John writes "so that you may have fellowship with us... and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ." I have been pondering that this morning ... what does it mean to have fellowship - partnership, union, participation, intimate connection - with the Father and the Son? (One place I am looking at is John 17.)What do you think?
“No particular religion matters, neither ours nor yours. But I want to tell you that something has happened that matters, something that judges you and me, your religion and my religion. A New Creation has occurred, a New Being has appeared; and we are all asked to participate in it … Don’t compare your religion and our religion, your rites and our rites, your prophets and our prophets … All this is of no avail. We only want to show you something we have seen and to tell you something we have heard… that here and there in the world, and now and then in ourselves is a New Creation, usually hidden, but sometimes manifest, and certainly manifest in Jesus who is called the Christ.”
Paul Tillich, The New Being
Quoted in Frederick Buechner, Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation
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