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— this 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— we 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. We are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
John reminds us of this all-important truth of our Christian faith: we believe in a person, and we receive this belief from people. I often consider belief in Jesus in only one sense: believing that Jesus existed. That’s important for John. Yet there are so many other nuances to belief, which I can find just by looking at my relationships:
I believe when I allow distrust to give way to trust, when I give the benefit of the doubt, when I give relationships time and space to develop, when I let go of having to be right, when I accompany people who are suffering, only able to offer my presence, and when I honor my gifts rather than downplaying them.
John says that this concrete act of belief is a fellowship that gives birth to joy. When I believe in others, I believe in Jesus. It’s the yoke that seems heavy at first but is actually easy and light.
Who do I choose to believe today? How will I choose to believe them?
Lord, I do believe: help my unbelief!