catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 8, Num 16 :: 2009.07.31 — 2009.09.03


Bubbling over

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life — the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us — that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
1 John 1:1-4, ESV

The last verse is one of those verses that I have ever so often skimmed over without giving it any thought. What the last sentence expresses is the purpose of John’s proclamation and testimony. At first glance, one might interpret John’s statement in an almost selfish light; that John is proclaiming these things purely for the sake of his own happiness. However, looking closer, I see something deeper. Fellowship is also a goal —fellowship not only between John and other believers, but also between believers and God and Christ. John’s testimony is one of joy.

Joy bubbles over; it overflows and must be shared with others. It is happiness and more, for it wishes to express itself and make itself known to others; joy is the expression of genuine happiness. By the grace of God, I recently happened to acquire a most beautiful fiancé. The day of the proposal was naturally an occasion full of joy. We were both excited and did not want to keep quiet, but tell others. We wanted to share our happiness with all of those whom we knew. Hence, many phone calls were made, e-mails were written, and finally Facebook was notified. A few days later, at an engagement party which my mom had planned just a few hours after the proposal, I found myself explaining all kinds of details about the relationship which I normally would never tell people. Despite the feeling that I was boring people with an overly long story and minor details, I kept talking.

Why did I keep talking? Because I wanted everyone else to feel the same joy that I was feeling. I didn’t want to keep my happiness to myself, but express it so that others could feel it as well. I told them almost every detail that came to mind because I wanted others to have the best grasp of the context that I could give them, so that they could imagine the emotion of my experience more fully. Perhaps it worked, perhaps not. The point, however, is that my joy could not be contained.

Thinking upon the joy I have had from so many of God’s blessings has challenged me. Am I nearly so joyful about telling the gospel as I am my engagement story? Am I nearly as joyful as John in his testimony? Do I desire to have fellowship with others in the grace of Christ? I often ask myself why I do not have the urge to share my feelings about the gospel with others. True joy in Christ, the result of true thankfulness and humility, must be shared, because joy is never complete until it is shared with others. 

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