Throughout the pandemic, we have been posting regular daily devotionals. Here is a monthly devotional for the month of November.
My grandmother used to take particular note in the month of November of the ever shortening days, and the lengthening darkness. For the month of November, you are invited to read through one of the shorter epistles in the New Testament, First John.
This is a letter that talks about darkness and about how we can recognize the light of Christ even when the way is dark. You can read from your own Bible, or you can access these passages online at www.biblegateway.com. This website is a great online source for Scripture. You can easily search for scripture verses and various translations using the website’s search. Set aside a few minutes each day to sit in a comfortable place. Slow yourself down and breathe deeply. Open your heart to God with a silent prayer or this spoken prayer: “Lord, shine your light on my
reading today. Help me to see your Son and to listen for your word. Amen.”
Background Information on the First Letter of John
Unlike many letters in the new testament, First John does not identify the writer of the letter. Most scholars agree that the writer of First John also penned Second and Third John. There are a variety of opinions on whether this author also wrote the Gospel of John and The Revelation of John. If it was not the same person, it is believed that these writers were from the same community. It is believed that First John was written between 95 and 110 AD, probably from Ephesus. Unlike the gospels which were directed to people who did not know the stories of Jesus, this epistle was written to church members. The resurrection was many decades in the past now, and varying theological views
and faith practices were posing a threat to the church. As congregations gathered in small groups in homes, there was no formalized training for preachers. Travelling teachers were promoting varying views of the gospel. One common heresy that was preached was that Jesus was not fully human, that he did not suffer on the cross, but just “pretended” to suffer. This line of thinking promoted the notion that the spirit and the physical world were completely divided; what we believe and how we live are unconnected. This letter attempts to address the division and false teaching of this concept, and point Christians again to the full humanity of Jesus. As you read through this short letter to people of faith who sometimes found themselves “in the dark”, ask yourself some of the following questions:
- What words are repeated in this passage? What is the significance of these words?
- What troubles me about the passage?
- Where do I see grace or beauty in the passage?
How does this passage connect with my life today? With the life of the church? With what is going on in the world?
Daily Readings from the First Letter of John in the Month of November
1st John 1:1-10
1st John 2:1-2
1 st John 2:3-11
1st John 2: 12-14
1st John 2:15-17
1st John 2:18- 23
1st John 2:24-27
1st John 2:28-29
1st John 3:1-3
1st John 3:4-10
1st John 3:11-15
1st John 3:16-18
1st John 3:19-24
1st John 4:1-3
1st John 4:4-6
1st John 4:7-12
1st John 4:13-18
1st John 4:19-21
1st John 5:1-5
1st John 5:6-12
1st John 5:13-20
1st John 5:21