1 John 3:1-7 “Revealing Christ to the World”
“When he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.” John looks forward to a future in which Christ is fully manifest to the community to which he writes. I suppose it was in part because he was pretty sure Christ hadn’t been completely revealed in the community because he saw serious ways in which the community was not leading a Christ-like existence. I wonder whether, in addition to this crucial hope for future revelation, we might look at this verse from the other direction. While we faithfully hope for a future revelation of Christ’s fullness when we will “be like him,” what would it mean to see him as he is, so we will be like him, and he will be revealed? What I mean by this is that John is calling us to reveal Christ to the world through the ways our community emulates the love Christ has given us. The more we open ourselves to one another and to the wider world in love; the more we “see him as he is” and choose to “be like him”; the more he is revealed to the world and to us. Later in this same chapter, John writes specifically about this. He tells us that abiding in Christ means very specific things about community life. How might we open ourselves to abiding in Christ and living more “like him”? How might our community life further “reveal” Christ in and to the world?