The Joey Chronicles – 1 John / “Walk In The Light”
When Pastor John was growing up he had an
imaginary friend name Joey.
These are growing up stories told from Joey’s point of view!
Every evening at 5:30 Joey heard, “Wash your hands! It’s time for dinner!”
And he knew that he needed to put down whatever he was doing and get his hands washed right away.
He had learned the hard way that even gluing the most intricate turret assembly onto his M1 Abrams tank was not as important as clean fingers.
“Joey, delayed obedience is disobedience.”
“Don’t you ‘But Mom” me. Now get in there to the table. Your food is getting cold.”
Dad sat at the head of the table checking the mail while Mom dished up their plates with steaming macaroni and cheese, or meatloaf, or spaghetti, or fish sticks. Some nights Dad would make his special chili with the extra meat and onions and the house smelled wonderful for hours afterward.
Eating together was important. And talking about the day was important.
“Joey, how was school?” Mom asked.
“What do you mean – fine?”
“Mom, Kathy won’t stop clicking her fork on her plate.”
“Joey, I’m not talking about your sister. Kathy, stop that. What happened today?
“Pass the beans, please” Dad said.
“Mom, Joey won’t quit staring at me like he’s mad.”
“Joey, watch your attitude towards your sister. Happy, you bad dog! You get down from there right now.” Joey’s Mom swatted the dog just as the phone rang.
Even though Joey knew that eating and talking together was important he also knew that it was almost impossible sometimes.
Jesus probably had some dinners like this with his disciples – full of interruptions where it was hard to concentrate on the food and on each other.
That’s why His last dinner with His disciples was so important. He wanted the disciples to keep walking with Him in love and obedience even after he was gone so He gave them special instructions.
He said that eating together was important. And talking about His sacrifice for them by dying on the cross was important. And they were supposed to keep doing it so they could practice getting past the distractions that made those times together so difficult.
At that last dinner with Jesus and His disciples they didn’t have macaroni and cheese, but they had bread and Welch’s grape juice for sure.
“Mom, what’s the difference between Welch’s grape juice and wine?
The most important part of that dinner was to remember that Jesus had given his body so they could walk in His light. And He had given his blood so their sins were forgiven. And Jesus wanted them to keep on eating and drinking together in a way that honored Jesus until He comes back.
And that is what communion is all about.
It’s where we say, “Dear Jesus, thank you for dying for my sins. Thank you for already forgiving me for the things I do that are wrong. I’m sorry for not loving you the way I should and I want to be walking in your light and not tripping over my own mistakes.”
“Thank you for this bread that reminds me of Your body sacrificed for me. And thank you for this juice that reminds me of Your blood that was shed for me.
“Thank you Jesus. I love you. And I want to serve you and love you along with my friends and family.”
1 John 1:7 gives us a great picture of why Jesus wanted His disciples to eat together in honor of Him. And to keep doing it.
“If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
Joey learned that eating and drinking together in honor of Jesus was even more important than eating and drinking together at home. And it takes practice to learn to love Jesus and love others. That’s why Joey knew he would want to do it over and over.
Even when there wasn’t any Welch’s grape juice.