We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.
Today is Friday, Spring Break Eve. Since attendance in my classes is typically dismal on this day, I managed to cancel both of them. This way, I wasn’t even attending. I did, however, put in my time at school, puttering around in my office, attempting to get caught up so that I could have a guilt-free break.
In mid-morning, Daniel, a Comp I student, strolled in. I had forgotten that he intended to bring a paper by to share with me. As I read through his paper and suggested some ways he might improve it, I noticed that he seemed agitated. Was I perhaps troubling him with my suggestions? I couldn’t be sure. Upon finishing my monologue, I looked at him. “Do you have any questions?”
“Yes,” he said, clearly not completely at ease with what he was about to say. I prepared myself to hear him express some disapproval of what I had to say. In twenty years of teaching, I’ve heard it before. He wouldn’t bother me, but that’s not where he went. “I have one question. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior?”
Whoa! Where did that come from? In those twenty years, I’d never had a student espouse his faith so directly. I assured Daniel that I had done so. He wasn’t quite done. He asked me a couple of other questions that I assume were designed to ensure that I wasn’t just blowing him off or suffering under some delusion regarding my salvation. This kid was serious!
What gave Daniel the nerve to walk into my office, not knowing where I stood on matters of faith, and risk himself like that? I think the answer is to be found in today’s scripture. Daniel, like John, was simply sharing what he had seen and heard. He has found fellowship with others in Christ and it’s a great thing. He wants to share that great thing, share that joy, much more than he wants to preserve some mask of politeness. He also knows the flip-side, the option to that fellowship, which is an eternity in Hell, separated from God.
Some of my non-believer colleagues will not take Daniel’s question as warmly as I did. However, they should realize the love out of which that question springs. I commend Daniel for having the same sort of courage and witness that animated the Apostle John. Carry on, my brother!