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. (1 John 5:11-12)
What does it mean to “have” the Son?
Does it mean saying particular things about Jesus? Reciting particular creeds of the Church?
Does it mean arguing about religion? Imposing religious laws on people?
Does it mean wearing certain Christian t-shirts? Wearing certain ecclesiastical robes? Having a certain hairstyle? Wearing a certain hat?
Does it mean reading special prayers? Making up special prayers? Singing special music?
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What might it mean to “have” life?
Might it mean owning up to our own faults? Admitting our own mistakes?
Might it mean praising God for the way things are? Thanking God for what is?
Might it mean receiving forgiveness? Giving forgiveness?
Might it mean serving God? Might it mean being served by God?
Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back,
Guilty of dust and sin.
But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning
If I lacked anything.
“A guest,” I answered, “worthy to be here”:
Love said, “You shall be he.”
“I, the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,
I cannot look on thee.”
Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,
“Who made the eyes but I?”
“Truth, Lord; but I have marred them; let my shame
Go where it doth deserve.”
“And know you not,” says Love, “who bore the blame?”
“My dear, then I will serve.”
“You must sit down,” says Love, “and taste my meat.”
So I did sit and eat.