That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. 1 John 1:1-4
After having spent a week immersing ourselves in the stories of those who actually saw, touched and heard the risen Christ, these opening verses of the first letter of John take on deeper significance. It somehow brings it all home, and the coolest part is that it ties us into the experiences of the early disciples.
It’s as if John is saying, Knowing that we can have the same fellowship with you as we had with each other — that there’s no difference between our experience of the risen Christ and yours, even though we saw him and you didn’t — that’s what makes our joy complete. Because the Holy Spirit is that real. And when we see that you have the same joy that we have, even though you haven’t been physically with Him like we have, well, our joy simply goes ballistic.
You and I, dear Catch reader, are experiencing what Christ said to Thomas: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. (Italics mine)” (John 20:29) Notice it was John who told the story of Thomas, so he would have been most sensitive to this truth. That’s why he’s the one making this connection.
So rejoice today. Rejoice that you and I are walking the same dusty roads with John and the disciples, experience the same risen Christ in the same way. The risen Christ is no less real to us than He was to John, Peter, Mary, Thomas and the others. This is the “magic” of what the Spirit of God can do. He can bring us into fellowship with each other and with the disciples. These stories of discovery are not from some distant past, they are our stories as well. They are as if they just happened, because they did. And each time Christ is born anew in someone, they happen again. That is how alive this is. It’s like touching a hot wire that’s connected to the source, only this one won’t kill you, it will give you life.
So, a belated Happy Easter, but not truly belated, because Resurrection Day is every day!