John’s letter reminds us that in Jesus Christ we have known God. This is a powerful emphasis of the Christmas season. The Incarnation, if taken seriously, compels us to recognise the passing nature of this world. ‘Because you have come to know the one who has existed since the beginning.’ Not recognizing the transitory nature of the world in which we live is the biggest mistake one can make.
Without the Incarnation, we not only live with illusions undetected but we ourselves invite them. In their turn, they will furnish our imagination, shape, and condition our desires. In other words, living without the Incarnation (and its demands on our lives), we live an unexamined life. And unexamined life, as John’s letter warns, leaves uncultivated those spiritual and intellectual skills in us, which is necessary for our soul’s ‘survival’ - and the happiness we are all striving for.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..