1 John 1:1-4 “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life—and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us—what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.”

Observation: John’s writing overflows with love for the Lord and concern for our spiritual well-being. In these first four verses, words tumble over one another in lavish yearning to draw us into relationship with Christ Jesus and through Christ, into fellowship with both the Father and with fellow believers.

Application: The entire book of First John may be profitably read on any day, but perhaps no day is more appropriate than on Christmas morn. As Christians the world over celebrate the birth of Christ, John reminds us that the life of Christ, representing the Father, became manifest in our midst. John’s ecstatic celebration of this reality invites us to enter into His eternal life not only for our own benefit but because as John says, “so that our joy may be complete.” What a lovely thought: that the only thing that could possibly be lacking in John’s life, or in the lives of other believers, would be for you and me to participate fully ourselves in the life of Christ.

Any of us as believers can surely understand John’s heart cry. Having found something as unspeakably good as eternal life in Christ, what could possibly be incomplete about our lives except that some we love are not joined with us in that life? Still on the outside, still in ignorance and darkness, their condition fills us with yearning that they would one day join us.

I smile inwardly this morning at the universal Christmas phrase, “some assembly required.” Indeed, isn’t that what John is talking about? Christ has seen the finished product. He well understands that each of us starts out as a gift filled with potential. As Christ begins to open us, He first discards the cardboard and packing materials and then lovingly begins to assemble all the parts, always mindful of the intended finished result. Sometimes we resist His assembly; we each have come with pieces broken in transit. Yet He persists. His vision is that we would all be made perfect, that His joy might be made complete.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I am so very thankful that You have come to set the pattern, and that Your commitment is to never give up on me till I have a seat at the wedding banquet. Thank You, thank You.