The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” – John 1:35-39
Good grief! Yesterday was a Sunday that left me breathless. From playing guitar with pastor John and receiving a large group of new members at 9:00 worship, to seeing a group of young people commit themselves to follow Jesus at 11:15, to driving to Rocky Mount to do my “presbytery photographer” thing in the afternoon, to covering James Taylor’s “Shower the People” at the youth dinner-theater and auction in the evening.
What it all added up to was – is – life, irrepressible life that leaves us both energized and exhausted at the same time. Sometimes, living the good story lends itself to contemplation, quietness, reflection, and stillness… but yesterday was most certainly not one of those days!
If you are one of those people who leaves your spirituality on the back burner, and who believes there are dozens of more interesting or rewarding things to do on a Sunday that make church an increasingly unlikely choice, then I have to say, simply, “Come and see.”
“Come and see,” is the essential Jesus brand of sharing the good news. The most effective way to communicate just how life-changing it is to follow Jesus is to live out the truth in a way that stands as an open invitation.
Back in Florida I interviewed literally hundreds of preachers for a long-running series that ran in The Tampa Tribune. I researched one ministry ahead of my appointment with the minister, and the website was full with images featuring large crowds, a modern worship facility, families, young adults, a dynamic praise band, and more.
We met in the preacher’s home, and when I pressed him he finally admitted all the photographs on his website were stock images he’d found online. In actuality the church had eleven members (six were his family), eight to ten in attendance, no property, no band, and no real plan.
It turns out this man was more interested in drumming up donations than actually building the Kingdom of God.
But Jesus wants us to become so filled up with his life that it spills out of us as a natural invitation to know God. This is what we’re interested in at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church; this is what drives everything that we do; this is why I can confidently say, “Come and see.”
There is a reason there is this “buzz” of excitement in the building every Sunday morning. It’s because commitment to – and participation in – this kind of faith community always leads to a deeper walk with God, a more abundant, transformational, experience of day-to day-life, and a satisfaction it’s impossible to understand in any other context.
Come and see – DEREK