COME AND SEE
Lots of people are asking deep questions of faith at this time. Come and See is an invitation to everyone and anyone who feels adrift in this pandemic, whether or not they know anything about the Christian faith.
Let’s read John 1:35-42
35 The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. 36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”. 42 Then Andrew brought Simon to meet Jesus. Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”.
What’s going on in this passage from John’s gospel?
Well, first we see that John spots Jesus, and points him out. He points him out in a way which intrigues those who are with him. They become curious, and walk behind Jesus, perhaps looking nonchalant, perhaps not really wanting to be seen, until Jesus turns round and asks them a direct question – what are you looking for? Not who are you looking for. What.
They seem caught off guard. Perhaps they haven’t really thought about what they are looking for. So they reply with another question Rabbi, where are you staying? They don’t want Jesus to disappear; they want to be able to find him when they feel ready.
And what they get is a direct invitation, Come and See. The rest, as they say, is history. Today more than 1/3 of the world’s population, about 2.1 billion people are Christians. It all started here. And this is how it continues.
We know that 1 in 5 of our online congregations were not regular worshippers before COVID. What were they looking for when they dipped into, or joined online congregations?
Some may have been looking for entertainment for their kids; some may have been looking for somewhere to belong, a sense of community in lockdown; some may have been looking for assurance – as life became less certain and end of life started to loom larger. Some may have been curious, and had the time and the possibility to explore, to dip their toe in. Some may have been looking for answers or a roadmap as they tried to make sense of what was, and is, happening to the world.
All around us, people are searching for meaning, and their search can take many forms, some try meditation; some try drugs; many try religion in different forms. And a good number have tried our online congregations, or hovered around the fringes of our church communities for some time.
Jesus says, Come and see, come and explore, let me help you to understand how all this fits together. There was nothing coercive about the way he engaged with them - only a gentle, gracious invitation to come and see, to hang out and find out more.
This invitation connects with some kind of desire, some kind of unmet need, a sense of longing. We need to encourage and equip all of God’s people to notice what God is up to and who with. So...why not come and see? You can register to find out more here: oxford.anglican.org/come-and-
Here is Dom and Katie's story -
Here is Nour's story
Here is Matthew's story