The three letters of John in the Christian Scriptures are brief and to the point, with only the first of the three taking up more than one page. John’s writings are noted for eloquence and the preponderance of the theme of love – God’s love for us and our love for others. The first reading from this morning’s lectionary texts (1 John, ch. 2) is a simple yet profound declaration of what is true in the present and what we can hope for in the future. See what love the Father has bestowed on us, he says, that we may be called children of God. Yet so we are.
As if that’s not enough encouragement there’s a follow-up to this recognition of our present identity, beginning with the repetition in case we missed it that we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.
I’m often amazed these days when I pull out sections of Bible texts for reflections that, although I’ve been reading these same words for years, they strike such a chord in me that I wonder why I’m not thrown into speechlessness by their profundity. Today I am stopped in my tracks by the wonder of being an offspring of the divine, made in the image of God and, hopefully, growing into God’s likeness. And then there is the possibility, the probability, the promise that I will be able to actually see God as God is – not just in holy people or nature or anything else I can now see – but in the actuality of God. I can’t even imagine what that means and yet it is what gets me up in the morning and motivates all the good that I attempt during the day. Why wouldn’t I want to see and be like God?