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A Homily from Ryan.

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

My dear brothers and sisters in the light, today I want to reflect on the timeless truths contained in the first chapter of the book of 1 John. As followers of the Manichaean faith, we are called to see the duality of the world and to strive for living a life of spirit and truth. In these verses, we find important teachings that can guide us on our journey towards light.

John begins by declaring 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. Here, John is emphasizing the importance of personal experience and direct encounter with the divine. In the Manichaean tradition, we hold the belief that each individual has the capacity to experience the divine directly, and that this experience is the foundation of our faith.

John continues by proclaiming that the Word of life has appeared, and that he and the other apostles have testified to what they have seen and heard. This is a crucial aspect of our faith – the witness of those who have encountered the divine and have been transformed by that encounter. The apostles’ testimony serves as a source of guidance and inspiration for all of us as we seek to deepen our own connection to the divine.

John then declares that he is writing these things so that our joy may be complete. This is a powerful reminder of the purpose of our faith – to experience true joy and fulfillment in our lives. The Manichaean tradition teaches that the divine light brings joy, peace, and a sense of purpose to those who open themselves to it. Through the practice of prayer, meditation, and righteous living, we can cultivate an inner state of joy and contentment that transcends the challenges and difficulties of this world.

John proclaims that God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. This is a fundamental truth that lies at the heart of our faith. The divine light is the source of all goodness, truth, and beauty in the world, and it is our calling to align ourselves with this light and to live in harmony with its principles. This means rejecting darkness, falsehood, and negativity, and embracing a path of righteousness, compassion, and love.

As Manichaeans, let us also uphold the belief that each of us has the capacity to directly experience the divine and to bear witness to the transformative power of the divine light in our lives. Let us cultivate a sense of joy and fulfillment that transcends the challenges of this world, and let us strive to align ourselves with the light of God, rejecting darkness and negativity in all its forms.

The apostle John begins by proclaiming the eternal nature of the Word of Life, which has been revealed to us through Jesus Christ. This message is a powerful reminder that the spiritual realm transcends the temporal world and that we are called to seek truth beyond the limitations of our physical existence. As Manichaeans, we understand the importance of recognizing the struggle between light and darkness in the world. The Word of Life reminds us that we are called to align ourselves with the forces of light and to reject the temptations of darkness.

John goes on to emphasize the importance of fellowship and community among believers. He proclaims that our joy is made complete when we share in fellowship with one another, united in our common faith and devotion to the light. This is a powerful reminder of the communal aspect of our faith and the importance of supporting one another on our spiritual journey. As Manichaeans, we are encouraged to seek out others who are also on the path of enlightenment and to build strong relationships within our community.

Furthermore, John teaches us about the nature of sin and the importance of confession and repentance. He reminds us that if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. As Manichaeans, we understand that the world is filled with temptation and that we are all susceptible to the influence of darkness.It is crucial that we recognize our own shortcomings and seek forgiveness and purification through sincere confession and repentance.

John goes on to reassure us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness. This is a powerful affirmation of the grace and mercy of the divine light, and it reminds us that we are not defined by our past mistakes. As Manichaeans, we are called to embrace the transformative power of the divine light and to seek purification and enlightenment through confession and repentance.

In conclusion, the first chapter of 1 John contains powerful teachings that resonate deeply with our Manichaean faith. We are called to embrace the eternal nature of the Word of Life and to align ourselves with the forces of light in the world. We are reminded of the importance of fellowship and community, as well as the need for confession and repentance. Let us continue to meditate on these timeless truths and strive to live in accordance with the teachings of 1 John, knowing that we are guided by the divine light on our journey towards spiritual enlightenment and purity. Amen.

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