Continuing the thought about what God says is possible in light of authentic community. It's part two...
2. We are to walk, and live, in divine light.
But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.' I John 1:7 NIV
I love the New International translation here because it emphasizes that we are to be living in the light, not just wandering in and out of illumination. The verse implies that we have nothing to fear from the light and we we can abide in it because it is the normal, healthy, safe environment for believers. In fact, the very nature of our fellowship with one another is to be characterized by this divine illumination. We are to ‘live’ in a sphere of shadow-less brilliance and clarity.
Consider for a moment...the Father has no secrets from the Son. The Son hides nothing from the Father. Everything is in the light, with nothing hidden. There is no shame or guilt. There is no fear or reluctance. There is only the unfettered joy of unrestricted, unqualified relational intimacy.
What does the Godhead's life in the light have to do with us? In their transformational book, The Cure, John Lynch, Bruce McNicol and Bill Thrall characterize this life in the light in one powerful little phrase:
What if there was a place so safe that the worst of me could be known, and I would discover that I would not be loved less, but more in the telling of it?'
The first time I read that phrase I wept.
It embodied all that I was longing and yearning for. It encapsulated the heart and soul of what it meant for me to be a catalyst for authentic community. It described authentic community as a place where I could live with nothing hidden and I would not only be safe, but I would be loved! And I wanted that badly!
Reality check time…how many of our faith communities come anywhere close to that experience?
In most fellowships we live in the shadows. We’re cordial. We’re friendly and gracious (most of the time.) And yet we hide. We wear masks. We pretend everything is fine, regardless of the personally devastating reality we are living in. We avoid transparency, vulnerability and authenticity at all costs, because we know with absolute certainty that if we try and live with nothing hidden, it will come back to bite us big time.
Certainly God intends something better for us than that!