A COMMON STORY
“We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— this life was revealed, and we have seen it and testify to it, and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us— we declare to you what we have seen and heard so that you also may have fellowship (κοινωνίαν) with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 Jn 1: 1-3)
John, the beloved disciple, reminds me today of our common story. It is what the first followers of Christ “saw and heard,” concerning the Word of Life, and then passed on to us, that builds our “fellowship” or “communion” (κοινωνίαν) – with all previous generations of faithful, beginning with the eye-witnesses like John; with one another today; and with God. We “commune” in His story, His revelation of Himself, and we identify with it. Because a common story means a common identity.
Nowadays we might find ourselves spending time on, and identifying with, all sorts of stories. Anything from a recent, shocking statement made by a politician, to the scandalous details of a celebrity divorce, to an animal born with two heads in Indonesia, - anything that happens to pop up online or elsewhere might become our focus for considerable amounts of time, whether we consciously “care” about it or not.
Today let me be mindful about the stories I spend time on. When they draw me in, they do affect my identity, my own “story,” and the “fellowship” I choose, challenging it, informing it, or building it. Let me start my day with some deep reading of the Word of Life, so that I may see all other stories, as well as my own, in His light.