the heartbeat of the faith

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.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

The heart beat of the Christian faith is a fellowship in love. It is no less than the fellowship of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. That is true Christian fellowship, nothing more and nothing less.

It is certainly real, down to earth, and very human, since it is incarnational at its core. The ordinary is never despised, Jesus lived quite an ordinary existence, one might even say in some ways extraordinarily so. Such fellowship might not be much back and forth in the way of theological discussion, or great wisdom. But the love of the Father through the Son by the Spirit, the love that is ours in Christ should always be present and be the element in which we share life together.

If it is not, then we need to ask why not. That requires prayer, since we cannot uncover our sin by ourselves. That something is wrong may be obvious to us, since we are people of the Spirit in whom the Spirit dwells. Not that we can’t be deceived, even self-deceived, because we most certainly can. Love trumps all, and so we have to ask God to help us in difficult places with difficult people to find the way of love with them, in and through Jesus.

Of course this love is a special kind of love. We might call it a holy love. One that is in accord with the will of God in Jesus. It is unique, even though it certainly overlaps with the love we find in creation. Of course the love in creation is impacted by sin. This is the love we find in the new creation in Christ. It is a love with a fire in its eyes at times, gentleness most of the time, but nevertheless, it is love.

We know of this love through the revelation of God in Christ. Which was shown with a little baby born in a manger so many years ago.  We do well to dwell on the wonder of our faith in Jesus, in his birth, in the story told us in scripture. That is where we find life: the true love which gives us the true life by God’s grace in and through Jesus. For us and for the world.