Come and See – Jan/Feb 2015

Come and see

Now you are the body of Christ, and individually members of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)

One day Jesus walks by and John the Baptist points him out to a pair of followers, who then start walking after Jesus, who turns and asks, “what are you looking for?” “Teacher, where are you staying?” they reply. “Come and see,” Jesus says. They come and see. When they go home, one immediately calls his brother to come and see also.

The next day Jesus calls another disciple-to-be, Philip, saying, “follow me.” Philip tells a friend, Nathanael, about Jesus, mentioning he’s from Nazareth. Nathanael asks skeptically, “can anything good come out of Nazareth?” He has a pre-formed notion of the slim possibilities of anything good coming from that place. But instead of trying to explain, Philip says, “come and see.” Nathanael comes and sees, and in seeing, is persuaded. Here, in just a few verses (John 1:35-51) we get the basics of evangelism – inviting others into relationship with Jesus and his church, the body of Christ.

That’s basically how I got here. (Isn’t this pretty much how we all got here?) We learn from Jesus, who calls us with the simplest of phrases – Come and see – Follow me – and teaches us to call others the same way.

Simple. Not always easy. Like Jesus, we should be prepared to hear variations on Nathanael’s snarky remark – ‘Can anything good come from Christianity? Can anything good come from the church?’ – when we invite others to come and see… Yet what joy we find… when anyone comes, sees, and finds the love of God… for the first time or in deepening relationship…

So we keep practicing – saying, persistently, creatively, in many ways, for many situations –‘Come and see.’ We learn to say ‘come and see’ from the heart… As we invite and encourage friends, family, neighbors, anyone we meet… to seek, find, get to know for the first time… or better than ever… the Jesus we meet in the bible. We invite and encourage everyone especially to seek and find Jesus in his church, the body of Christ – where, even with all its human faults and failings, we see the ongoing miracle of the incarnation – God taking on human flesh and living among us (John 1:1-18)…Christ empowering us to continue his work on earth (John 20-21, Acts 1-28)…

God gives all the spiritual gifts and graces to the church through the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12). Together we are the body of Christ, individually members thereof. Our congregational witness is far greater than the sum of our human parts because of Christ’s presence.

And Come and see is often all we need to say.. A few words, spoken from the heart at the right time, can make such a difference – as lives are turned around… futures changed…

The more we get to know Jesus, the more we know here’s the One who knows us perfectly and loves us immensely in spite of all our weaknesses. The One who calls us to be part of his beloved community of faith, hope and love… inviting us, always, to share the invitation we’ve received – Come and see.

That’s how I got here. Probably this is essentially how we all get here… This is how we journey on together in grace…

The grace and peace of our risen Lord be with you always on this journey with Jesus,

Pastor Tim