Come and See
August 12, 2015
We spent a few weeks camping this summer. It is always an interesting experience. As one comedian said, “Camping was a tradition in everyone’s family – till we came up with the house.” Camping is basically taking all the amenities that we enjoy in life and leaving them at home. It is living with your family in a non-climate controlled, devoid of electronic advancement, natural environment (that feels unnatural now) until we all cry “uncle”. I believe if God had meant for us to live like that all the time, he would have tattooed “Jayco” across our foreheads.
The family next to us camping on our June trip had 4 younger children. Mom showed up mid-week with the kids. Dad showed up late Friday night. The 2 or 3 year old boy was obviously a bit lost about what to do. As mom tried to set up camp, make the meals and keep the camper clean, he just kept yelling out… “Mom, look. Mom, look. Mom, look.” And he would point to the ground. He was fascinated by bugs. “Mom, look. What is it?” After about 12 encounters like this in row, mom would not even look anymore – “It’s a bug, don’t eat it.”
For the next four hours, that little boy probably said, “Mom, look!” about 12,000 times. (At least it seems to me as I sat by our campfire and tried quietly to read.) There is a natural desire in us to share what we find out. If you don’t believe that is true, hop on social media. See how many times people post and repost, tweet or retweet things they just found or found out. That little boy was following basic human nature. I discovered something... I want you to see it too.”
Come and see… that is the biblical equivalent of “Mom, look!” Twice in scripture we see that phrase specifically used about Jesus. One was at the beginning of His ministry. Philip was already a follower of Jesus. When he found his friend Nathaniel, he invited him to come along. His friend was doubtful. John records the interchange like this…
“Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote-- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’ ‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’ Nathanael asked. ‘Come and see,’ said Philip.”
John 1:44-46 NIV
And Nathaniel did. And he was absolutely astounded by how much Jesus knew about him and what Jesus taught him.
The second time was at the empty tomb. The women had come to honor Him and take care of His body. Instead they found the stone rolled away and an angel standing there. Listen to what Matthew records he said:
“The angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.”Matthew 28:5-6 NIV
And they did. And they were absolutely astounded at the thought that Jesus might just be alive again.
When those who are curious or in doubt… when those who are hurting, grieving or jaded by the promises of life… when they actually take a deeper look at Jesus, His teaching and His actions, they are astounded at what they find.
As a church, we are challenging every one of us to invite someone to come to church. On Sunday, September 13th, we are having a Friend day. Through this fall, we are sharing the Jesus way of life in a very straightforward way. “Not an Ordinary Life” is a simple examining of the way of life that Jesus calls us to live. It is looking at His truth about life and asking the question... why can’t we live like this? Why do we settle for ordinary when we could have something so much better, so much different, so much more meaningful?
Listen, here is the real challenge. Most us of believe that the people “out there” look at the church like some form of camping… a weird climate, devoid of electronic advancement, and a bit unnatural. And sometimes we think we might sound like the little boy who keeps continually annoying them with the same statement over and over again… Look... Come... See...
But what if the climate their life exists in right now is toxic and they are just looking for something different.? What if they are so electronically plugged in that their soul is craving some real connection with people? (And not just funny videos of kitties and ceiling fans.) What if what we have to share is actually the most natural experience they will ever have in life? The creation meeting their Creator. What if the boy has it right? The wonder of what is out there is much more important and fascinating than the routine of our daily lives.
Come and see.
“Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works on man’s behalf!” Psalm 66:5 NIV
Invite them to come and see. When we see Jesus -- what He knows, what He teaches and what He has done -- there is a wonder in the life He reveals that cannot be denied. Let’s lift Him and His ways up this fall together.