Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth. There are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree. If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Today is Friday 11 January, in the season of Christmas.
The monks of Keur Moussa sing: ‘Lord Jesus, we await your coming in faith, more sure of seeing your day than a watchman awaiting the dawn.’
Today’s reading is from the First letter of John.
This may appear to be a very difficult, puzzling and even disturbing reading today. There is an old saying which goes: if you were brought before a court of law and accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
Would anybody know, from what I say or the way I live my life, that I am a Christian? Do my words or my deeds testify to who I am?
The atmosphere of the court room looms large in today’s reading. As you hear the reading again, notice how many times the word testimony and testify are mentioned.
To believe in Jesus Christ is not simply to accept what Christ says as true; it is to commit ourselves into the hands of Christ, now and for all time. As I go through this day, can I make my own, the final words of Jesus: “into your hands, I commend my spirit”?