Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Jigsaw Peace: The Picture on the Box (World Peace and How to Achieve it)

In Miss Congeniality, the Beauty Queens are asked what important thing society needs – they know that the answer is “World Peace”. Our protagonist has a different suggestion, but she remembers to toe the line and mention world peace in the end.

But are there other priorities that get in the way of World Peace? If there is a Picture on the Box of My Peace Jigsaw, what does it look like?

If we take the “absence of war” definition, then the picture has no weapons, no conflicting ideologies, no invasions of others’ lands or territories.

If we take the “state of calm/lack of stress” definition the world suddenly looks like a very lazy place. I wonder if work precludes peace? I hope not.

In Isaiah 11 there is a description of a peaceful kingdom of which this is just a short extract (be relieved – I was sorely tempted to analyse the whole chapter!):

The cow will feed with the bear,

their young will lie down together,

and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

The infant will play near the cobra’s den,

and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.

It’s a vision that clashes so much with the way things are. With a bear and a cow we would fully expect the cow to be attacked, but in the peaceful kingdom, natural enemies allow their young to mix, to relax, to “lie down together”. To do that is surely a sign of unquestioning trust, that the other party has no ill will.

The natural predator, the lion has also given up that part of his nature that wounds and kills. In the peaceful kingdom, those in power don’t use their natural might to oppress others – there’s a picture of voluntary equality. The lion’s supremacy is put to the side for peace.

A third pairing – the child and the snake are described. There are immediate echoes of Genesis when the child and the snake were pitted against each other; when the snake was cursed, God said:

“You will crawl on your belly

and you will eat dust

all the days of your life.

And I will put enmity

between you and the woman,

and between your offspring and hers;

he will crush your head,

and you will strike his heel.

In the peaceful kingdom this curse is lifted. Where we would see the incident and give an intake of breath waiting for the inevitable bite and cry, in the peaceful kingdom there is only harmony.

So, what would world peace look like? For us it would look like a powder keg ready to go up – enemies sitting side by side. We would hold our breath and expect the worst. In our world, when this happens, we expect trouble – we would probably try to keep enemies apart to avoid a scuffle.

The animals and the child in the vision of the peaceful kingdom seem to have forgotten the animosity of generations.

Maybe that’s a strategy to try.

Partial Warrior (Ironic deviation from Peace theme…)




I “completed” Total Warrior Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago with a great team.

There were some really good mud obstacles, but far too many daft walls that were way too high to get over unless one was lobbed over in ungainly fashion by a burly bloke. So I walked round a few. Which would be considered cheating if I wasn’t convinced I could actually get over them. I just had had enough of climbing over them.

The other “fails” for me were the three opportunities to end up landing in water. I still can’t do that. So I missed the long jump, the jumping over fire and the monkey bars over water – although I swam the monkey bar obstacle just to give myself a wee rinse as I was a bit caked.

I was very happy in “the plunge” obstacle, as I thought, on approach, that it would be filled with ice like the “arctic enema” from Tough Mudder – but no, it was just water – and most welcome.

Total Warrior was cold, it was wet, it was muddy  –  and the two McChicken sandwiches I had for lunch afterwards were most welcome.

Second Peace Jigsaw Piece: Pictures of Peace

For millenia, we have had the concept of peace – despite the fact that for the same length of time we have managed to wage countless wars and generate countless conflicts.

But the concept remains.

Out of the ancient world comes our first symbol of peace – the olive branch. When we “hold out the olive branch” we want to end a disagreement.

The olive branch then gets picked up by the dove in the story of Noah:

“He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.”

When the dove comes back with the olive leaf in its mouth, it became a symbol for the coming of peace – the tumult is over and peace is on its way.

The story of Noah also contains another symbol that has evolved through the centuries. At the end of the flood, God puts the rainbow in the sky:

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.

Centuries later the rainbow is still a symbol for peace. The Italian “Pace” flag has a rainbow background and the word “Pace” in white on the front. The idea with the colours, apart from the residual connotations from Noah, is unity in diversity – that all the colours of the spectrum together can be one.

A few decades on, and the rainbow flag is modified again and it became a Gay Pride flag, capitalising on the previous versions with their symbolism of hope for the future and unity in diversity. Each colour on the inclusion flag represents a different aspect of human life.

Poppies too have evolved. The original red poppy was to remember the dead. The white poppy looks forward with the hope for no more war. The same thing happened to the “V” sign. Originally it was “V” for Victory, but as time went by it began to be a plea for continued peace.

Once clear symbol of Peace is the CND logo. I was interested to learn that it gets its shape from the semaphore representations of the letters N and D.

It is interesting to see these depictions of Peace change and develop as the centuries and millenia pass. Olive leaves, poppies, rainbows all echoing through history with different connotations for different ages.

And as time passes, mankind dreams up many new ways to destroy each other. Sorry for the pessimistic end to this peace post. I can’t find the quote I was looking for and I don’t know who said it, unless it was me, which I doubt:

“Who can say mankind has not progressed? In each war we kill each other in a new way.”

I’ll unfurl my CND bunting, release the doves and fly the PACE flag and see if I can whip up some solutions for World Peace tomorrow.

The first piece of my Jigsaw: Peace.

I had cause to explore the concept of “Peace” recently and run an event on that theme. I ordered a peace-dove stamper, some CND bunting, a UN flag and I set off into the internet to find out all about Peace. I also looked into what the Bible had to say about Peace.

What do you think peace is?

There are two main types of peace, I think.

Firstly there is a kind of peace of omission – there is peace when there is an absence of war and conflict – be that at international or local or family level.

Secondly, there is a kind of sense or mood or feeling –that someone is at peace when they feel relaxed and unhurried – when nothing is pressing on them and they can be quiet and happy.

How can peace be achieved?

John Lennon:

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

I like this quote. It suggests that humanity has the capacity to achieve peace, but our individual and collective selfishness and warped priorities preclude peace.

In this scenario, for there to be peace, peace needs to be willed on all sides; by putting ones own agenda/gripe/priorities to one side, peace can/could be achieved.

But should there be peace, if it requires putting one’s own agenda to the side?

Seventy years ago, Nazi Germany made an attempt to break into British airspace. If the fighter pilots of the Spitfires had just let the invasion happen, would there have been peace in Britain? No. The ideology of Nazism is/was such that for people to stand by and allow their own agendas to be hijacked would perhaps result in political peace – when peace is simply an absence of war – but there would have been no peace for individuals.

Still thinking about Lennon’s quote, the will to make peace has to involve everyone on all sides simultaneously – for the result to be peace for all. I think he was saying that if everyone wanted it, we could have it.

Looking at the world today, we can clearly see that plenty of people don’t want peace, and soldier on with their agendas, be they laudable or toxic. Plenty of people are willing to risk everything to find peace.

So we need a better basis for thinking about Peace that John Lennon and his television idea, much as I liked it.


#Lanark @citizenstheatre – a lot of theatre for your money.


I went to see “Lanark”, a play that is an adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s epic Scottish dystopian novel; “Lanark: A life in four books” was presented as “Lanark: a life in three acts”.

I was so pleased that this adaptation was on a scale to match that of the novel. It was lovely to have scenes, lines and images awaken the memories of reading the book that had lain dormant for years.

The opening scene was just right – the written words, Lanark in the rain, looking for light. I was delighted that all of the characters were there in the bar, and the whole thing set off with things just as they should be.

I could have done without the clumsy sex/nudity – but I guess that was the point – Rima echoed that thought herself…

I was pleased with the hospital/institute scenes – with Lanark’s speedy promotion to Doctor and the unethical food. I did miss the echoes that reverberated through the Institute from the novel, in particular the “Man is the pie that bakes and eats itself” line, but the dragon going salamander made up for that.

If there was a disappointment it was when Lanark and Rima went through the intercalendrical zone. I remember that reading that, back in the day, blew my mind. The presentation of that section was fully appropriate, but I didn’t get the sense of interminable frustration that Lanark and Rima experienced in the novel. (Which is – on reflection, given the four-hour length of the play, all in – perhaps a good thing!)

The ‘real’ sections in Glasgow were in some respects hugely reduced and simplified. The cast were elements of Lanark/Duncan himself, or played roles in his life. They were all dressed in matching clothes and the set was pared back. The simplification was very effective and the storytelling was extremely clever. Given the complexity of the scenes in Unthank, Provan and the Institute, the contrast with the scenes in Glasgow was appropriately striking, and the presentation of the narrative through the oracle was successful in presenting fragments of the past as memories/ little vignettes.

The climax of the play, where Lanark becomes aware of himself as a fictional character was really well done, and the final scenes were suitably poignant.

All in all, it was a lot of theatre for the money. The whole production was careful, thoughtful and appropriately aware that this was a novel to contend with. I’m glad I went, and I’m glad I saw it in Glasgow.

Top ten things about “Prison Break” #prisonbreak

It’s tricky to review “Prison Break” without ruining it. Here’s a spoiler-free list of what I liked about it:

1. The Prison. Very Shawshank.
2. Echoes of “[H]ouse” – Tancredi was 13 and Mahone was [H]ouse.
3. Depth of characterisation.
4. How people got killed off that you’d have thought couldn’t be killed off while having the plot still work out but they were and it managed.
5. Theodore Bagwell. His lines were brilliant. His character was complex. I enjoyed feeling conflicted about having such an ‘evil’ character as one of my favourites.
6. Parent-child relationships being utterly core to almost every character’s ultimate motivation in a kind of clunky and deliberate way.
7. So many deus ex machinas I came to expect them, and enjoyed expecting them.
8. How Sucre called Michael “Papi”.
9. Long-term characterisation of Bellick and Mahone.
10. The consistent level of tension from beginning to end.

Summer Reading Reviews

I lay and read books for a fortnight. Here’s what I read and what I thought. There will only be spoilers for things I don’t recommend:

1. “The Luminaries” by Eleanor Catton
Set in New Zealand, dealing with gold.
A very long book with good sentence structure. The plot was fairly straightforward but was conveyed through multiple perspectives which resulted in the book’s length. The many characters were mostly male and pretty flat. The two female characters had a bit more colour, but I occasionally forgot which was which as well. I enjoyed reading it, although it took me three times to get going with it. It was so long that, by the end of it, I found myself unclear on a couple of important details but so weary I couldn’t be bothered to skim back to clarify.

2. “The Pleasure Seekers” by Tishani Doshi

A straightforward summer read following a couple of lives. Not quite sure why it was entitled “The Pleasure Seekers”. Boy meets girl…. and so on. Some quite nice thoughts about love and identity and “home”. Linear timescale against a backdrop of real events in history. Uncomplicated.

3. “We are all completely beside ourselves” by Karen Joy Fowler

I enjoyed this book the most – so will say little. Once the book was underway I found myself rooting for the narrator. Interesting and thought provoking.

4. “The Quarry” by Iain Banks
Narrated from the point of view of an autistic young man whose father is dying of cancer. A reunion of the father’s university friends takes place at their house and lives are reflected upon. Sounds bleak, but there was a lot of wit and realism in there. Characters ranted about various topics – political and personal. The quarry itself was a tidy metaphor. A well constructed novel – but if you were wanting to read Iain Banks, I preferred “Whit”. I want to read more by this writer.

5. “The Other” by David Guterson and
6. “Brewster” by Mark Slouka

These two books I read because they were recommended for “runners” in an article in The Guardian
Both were narrated by men who described a friendship – the main focus of the novel being the other man. I was surprised by how little running there was in both novels – although both books were well written. “The Other” is ultimately about principles and compromise. In the opening chapter (this is not a spoiler) is the narrative hook that drives the plot:

“That’s how I met the priviledged boy who would later become ‘the hermit of the Hoh’ – that loner who lived in the woods for seven years and who bequeathed me four hundred and forty million dollars.”

“Brewster” is the setting of the second novel – a tough American town. The narrator runs to prove himself to himself – because running feels like it matters.
Both of these books were well written – Guterson’s moreso – but the amount of running in them wouldn’t have made be put them on a list of five books every runner should read. Which makes me think there is a gap in the market for a running novel.

7. “The Girl who wasn’t there” by Ferdinand Von Schirach

This was the most disappointing book of the summer. The cover was striking, even the paper quality was lovely – even the font had me fooled! It began well with interesting settings and relationships and the development of the main character. SPOILER WARNING BUT THE BOOK ISN’T ONE I RECOMMEND. But then it included some completely tasteless and vile descriptions of things that didn’t need to be in the book and the whole denoument/twist was given away by the title of the book – you can’t/shouldn’t be convicted of murder when there hasn’t been a murder – and the fact that the defendant had staged the crime as a piece of interactive installation art was a very lame way to end. Producing a half-sister out of thin air was also poor.

8. “Curtain Call” by Anthony Quinn
A tidy, straightforward summer read. Interesting historical context – glamorous and seedy in equal measure. Danger and threat and twists. Fine.

9. “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

A book I felt I “should” have read by now, so I did. My kind of book, really – despairing over the loss of value of the written word, but not utterly pessimistic.


Back to Prison Break.

Bikini Bodies and Flamingos

I packed my flamingo bikini and got on the plane. Imagine my delight, when leafing through the in-flight magazine, as I discovered that flamingos are all the rage this season. Whoop.

This was second only to the delight of finding the flamingo bikini in the first place – and that it actually fitted. (One has to blank out the unfortunate “overhang” issue of course, but hey, no one cares. As long as I didn’t ever sit up, people would still be able to see I was wearing both bits…)

Zoning out in the heat alongside me were many others who had also decided to believe the meme “How to get a bikini body: put a bikini on your body”.
Perhaps surprisingly the count of people who looked good in bikinis had gone up since last year. But most people looked like a disaster of one sort or another, as did I – but were were all happy and on holiday. And I lay there smugly knowing that were all secretly jealous of my fab flamingo bikini…

My body, if it were art, is a sculptural oxymoron, I reflected, as I assessed the affect of the rays from that first day. My arms are reaonably toned and muscular, as are my legs – sculpted by two and a half years of fitness training. My abs, were they nearer the surface, would be, hypothetically speaking, beautifully delinieated – but in reality, no amount of ab work can make up for what the children did to my skin when they were in there.

In my own defence, I do know that this is true – I have actually done the ab work. I have done as much as is possible without resorting to surgery. I can plank to my heart’s content. And my heart is content.

We went to “Palmitos Park” which was a beautiful botanical/zoological garden/park and I was particularly delighted to see some flamingos there. They were absolutely beautiful. In the pink, as it were.

IMG_0060-0I wonder if they knew that they were de rigeuer.

The Great @thomascookgc Pigeon Conspiracy #thomascook #grancanaria

It was a rubbish flight time to begin with. A wee-small-hours departure for a four-and-a-half-hour flight to arrive home in time for breakfast and a day laundering fusty towels. 

But something was clearly afoot.

Instead of the usual relaxed end-of-holiday sighs of resignation in the foyer late-evening, the atmosphere was tense. The “Arrivals” board at Glasgow Airport online was reading “cancelled” for our flight (that wasn’t) arriving at 6.30am or so the next day.


Eh, but, like, we checked out of the hotel eleven hours ago… and the hotel is full… and we have used up all our how-to-kill-time-when-you’ve-checked-out-of your hotel-strategies! (One can only precision-pack one’s hand luggage for twelve hours, keeping within airline protocol of pastes, creams and liquids, I find…)


Perhaps not, it appeared, as a local rep someone had rung said that the flight was really going to Glasgow. Probably.

But the other local rep someone had rung said that the flight was going to Manchester instead. Probably.

We didn’t mention this on the bus. Probably just as well.

The tour operator’s messenger, fully expecting to be metaphorically shot, delivered the bad news on our arrival at the airport.

Your flight is no longer going to Glasgow. Your flight is going to Manchester.

All of a sudden I am in a muted mob of irate Scots.

One irate Scot began a line of logic that lasted rather longer than I thought it would: this rerouting wouldn’t have happened if we were all English. They have done this to us because they can, because we are Scottish. Just so we will know our place.

Righto then.

Although, I imagine, if I were a holiday company, the last thing I’d want to do is needlessly irritate 300 tired and sweaty Glaswegians.

But the conspiracy theories had begun.

Someone remembered that when they had booked the holiday, the flight had been at a different, earlier, altogether more humane time. And then, without so much as a by your leave, the time was changed. Harrumph.

This, and the cancellation/diversion upon us MUST therefore be linked.

Then another lone rep did his line-up of apologies. Most people remembered not to shoot the messenger. The message, though, was largely disbelieved, given the seepage of the conspiracy theories bleeding throughout the queues.

The rep said that aeroplanes have an equivalent of an MOT, and the plane we were getting on was due its test. It had fortuitously got a slot and a bunch of mechanics lined up at Manchester, and if it didn’t get itself seen to… well… it kind of needed to, so it was … a can’t-be-helped kind of thing. The mechanics were simply not in Glasgow. They were in Manchester.

And then faint worry fluttered through the crowd. What was the urgency to see a bunch of mechanics? If this was the case, should we be getting on this thing, if its airworthyness was in question? What were the Mancunian Mechanics going to do? (No one said it in my hearing, but… if we had been English, would they have chanced it? Fast and loose, fast and loose. )

Faced with… no choice but to get on the plane, we got on the plane and enjoyed our complimentary drink and unexpectedly humungous plane.

It was a Boeing 767, much bigger than the plane that took us to Gran Canaria in the first place. Swathes of room. It was as if… it was… well… as if… this wasn’t our intended plane. This was a long haul plane, doing a short haul flight.

We wondered why.

Once through customs in Manchester (Hello Manchester!) we were given a £5 voucher each. I took ours into the first shop I saw, grabbed as much food as I could carry (just like that cauliflower game in Crackerjack) and staggered to the checkout trying not to drop any of my ‘breakfast’ items: pringles, mentos, mini cheddars, mars bars, crisps, fanta… you know me, health health health…

At least it wasn’t one man versus 300 disgruntled Scots. Poor soul.

We trollied our cases up and through and down and through and out to where some buses were waiting to take us to Glasgow.

No checks were made. The headcount a bit… sketchy. And off we set.


The question of the moment became, “When did YOU hear about the change of route?” The bus drivers had been recruited at about four o’clock the day before – seven hours before the ticket holders and, apparently, the reps – proof positive, for the theorists, that this was premeditated act, not a happy happensance of mechanics and machines.

By the time we had had our tea at Tebay Services, the conspiracy theories had reached fever pitch: this change of plan had been the only ever plan. There was no flight. The change in original times was just a first step to the obliteration of the flight as a concept mapped to reality. Those tickets were just a mirage, a cruel promise… a metaphor for multimillion pound corporation domination….

I then stumbled upon a theory of my own…

In the Manchester Evening Times, it details a flight in a Boeing 767 from the day before when a pigeon flew into the engine on the way to Egypt and it had to turn back. The passengers had a ten hour wait and a replacement plane took them to Egypt. Their plane was reported to be functioning again…

In my theory, we switched planes with the Egyptian flight so that they could get off to Egypt while the bird was cleaned out of the engine. Once the 767 was bird-free, it could come and fetch us, but perhaps had to get back to business from Manchester where it was meant to be. And an MOT post-pigeon-trauma can’t hurt.

Who can say?

Either the pigeon or the English had it in for us.

Or maybe not.

Thoughts on 1 John 1 – Authority and Integrity @brianmore59

I went to another church tonight and caught the introductory sermon to their new series. It put me in the mood to read the book they are going to be studying over the summer. I might study it too. Here then are my thoughts on the first chapter of 1 John 1:

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.”

Quite an introduction. I get the feeling that the writer of this letter was pretty excited about what he was about to say. In a way, this opening line is pretty confusing, unless you know what he is talking about; it is not immediately apparent.

What is “That which was from the beginning”? Is he making a reference to Genesis and the first “In the beginning”? Is he making a reference to the opening of his gospel account “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” I think that this reference to “the beginning” links to both passages. He is going to restate what he proclaims about the “Word of Life” – this Word that was referred to in the gospel as being necessary to creation.

He is launching straight into the unimaginable – he is saying that this “Word of Life” was from “the beginning” – from a time that the writer himself can barely conceive of. More astounding than that, he claims that he has personally met this “Word”.

He explains this in physical terms – he has heard, seen with his eyes, looked at, and touched with his hands. Here, the writer claims to be an eye witness. He himself has lived alongside Jesus as God Incarnate the Word made flesh. The privilege of this has not been lost on him.

By opening his letter in this way, the writer makes two important points: He is talking about the Word of Life from “the beginning” – the creative force through whom all things are made and secondly he, John, has met this one and the same person, Jesus, in the flesh, in physical reality. These two points build up to a stance of experience leading to authority; the writer knows who and what he is talking about.

“The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 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.”

So, what does he proclaim? “The life appeared” – the incarnation took place. He met Jesus during his earthly life – “we have seen it and testify to it”. The writer then moves beyond the physical earthly life of Jesus to refer to his eternal life as already suggested by the reference to “the beginning”; he extends this to a proclamation of “the eternal life which was with the Father and has appeared to us”. He asserts that Jesus had life beyond his temporal earthly life and that he was a physical witness to that. Again he emphasizes the physical fact of his status as an eyewitness: “what we have seen and heard”.

Why does he want to impress upon the reader the eternal nature of the Word of Life, and his own experience of meeting Jesus during his earthly life and being a witness to his “eternal life”? He states: “so that you also may have fellowship with us”.

So this letter sets out its initial purpose – to bring fellowship. He wants his readers to share with him in this knowledge of the Word of Life. This fellowship is extended through Jesus to God. By drawing the readers into the fellowship the writer enjoys with the Father and his son Jesus Christ, he anticipates that this will make his “joy complete”.

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

John then launches into his message. Again he prefaces it with the authority he has already claimed. It is “the message we have heard from him and declare to you.” He is not making it up. He is declaring what he says he has been told and been witness to: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

Once again we go into the realm of the unimaginable. I’ll try and stay out of metaphor for a moment and think about the first “In the beginning” moment. “And God said, ‘let there be light’”. To make the formless and desolate earth habitable, the first words spoken were spoken in order to make light – light that is needed for all human, animal and plant life. I can’t help but tip into metaphor now when the contrast is made with darkness – and I think that the writer does the same.

If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

He is writing about integrity and hypocrisy. He is warning against saying one thing and doing another. He is warning against knowing truth but ignoring it. He encourages the readers to “walk in the light”, to be part of a fellowship and to thereby stand in a place of purification. One’s beliefs have to have a practical outworking to make any sense. There then follows three sentences that all begin with “If”. Each sentence gives a scenario and a consequence:

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

Perhaps those he is writing to had been claiming that they were without sin. Maybe they thought they had risen above sin. Maybe they thought that what they did and thought didn’t count as sin. The writer, with authority, points out that this is wrong – they have fallen short.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
The writer then gives them the good news, once they have acknowledged that they are sinful – there is a way to be forgiven and to be purified.

If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
This third sentence echoes the first – again this implies that the recipients of the letter had perhaps been claiming that they were ‘without sin’ and perhaps didn’t need forgiving. By saying they are, in effect, perfect, John states that they have missed the point and are living lives that are in darkness while claiming to be in the light.

This opening to John’s letter highlights his authority as a writer. He was an eye witness to Jesus’ earthly life and resurrection. He had direct teaching from and experience of Jesus. He is motivated by a desire for fellowship – he wants the recipients to share his direct teachings from Jesus so that they can share a broader fellowship with each other and with the Father, through Jesus. He is having to write because the recipients seem to think that they are not in need of forgiveness for their sins, indeed, it is implies that they have managed to deny that they have sin in their lives. The writer points out that this is an error and leads to a confused witness where one thing is said and another is done.

For Christians today then, what does the first chapter of 1 John have to say to them?

Jesus is eternal and is the ultimate authority. He is the incarnation, the embodiment of the Word of God. Miraculous as it is, it is possible for people to have fellowship with God through Jesus and to therefore have fellowship with each other. It is not correct to see our failings as anything less than sin. Sin can be dealt with through Jesus who, if we confess our sins, will forgive us – and he has the power to do so. When Christians do not deal with their sin and do not live lives that reflect the light of Christ, their lives are confused and contradictory. They bring Christ and the gospel into disrepute and make it impossible for believers to share fellowship with each other and with God.

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