This is the way we may know that we are in union with him:
whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked. ( 1 Jn. 2:3)
To me, John sometimes seems to be esoteric and obscure. He often talks about love. Here in this citation, he puts feet on his vision of Christian love. Obviously, even though it can be very challenging and difficult at times, we cannot walk in the light of Christ and hate our brothers and sisters at the same time.
Here though I believe that John incorporates a new dimension into his teaching. â€œWalk just as he walked.â€ How did Jesus walk? He did justice, loved mercy and walked humbly before God as Micah indicated. More and more I am seeing that justice is a key biblical concept. People who longed for justice, who longed to be delivered from the yoke of oppression were the people who humbly waited for the Lord. Simeon waited and proclaimed the tiny baby in his arms to be the long awaited Messiah.
When we walk as Jesus walked, we walk in peace and justice.
During the recent election, some people bought into a dreamâ€”a dream of change and a better life for America. Whether we achieve that dream remains to be seen.
Jesus also to set out a dream, a vision for his â€œcampaign.â€ He came to bring Good News to the poor, to liberate captives, to free the oppressed and to give sight to the blind. This vision was Good News in Jesusâ€™ day and it certainly is Good News in our day. We know with Johnâ€™s disciples, that he was the One who was to comeâ€”the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, the captives are set free.
Later on Jesus preached on a hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee. He put feet on his vision. Walking as he walked is all about feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, caring for the sick, visiting the imprisoned, and welcoming the stranger.
We hear his dream but we often discount it as impractical in our lives and in our world. We bemoan the fact that people are on welfare and are consuming the resources we have rightfully gained for ourselves. If the homeless were not so lazy and shiftless, we would not have to shelter them. Why worry about the sick in our midst? That is what hospice is all about. Visit the imprisoned? They kill, rape, rob, and murder. Why should we reach out to them? (We will just look the other way when unscrupulous and greedy rich people extort and exploit others. In fact, we might even bail them out.) The strangers among us? They came here illegally and they are draining our health care budgets. (Of course, as law abiding God fearing citizens, we know that all our forbears came here legally!) We need to build walls and send them packing. We let popular talk show rhetoric corrupt Jesusâ€™ vision for us. How often we walk in darkness.
In reality, Jesus is the only change Christians can truly believe in. He calls forth the best in us. He challenges us to walk in the light. He became human. He became flesh. He walked among us. He did not buy into the imperial lies of his day. He stayed the course. In the end, he was executed as a common criminal. Maryâ€™s heart was pierced because her son lived his dream. We can do no less than Jesus did however impractical his teaching may seem to be at times. When we walk as he walked, we proclaim his presence among us.