This morning I did one of my favorite things, locking myself in my office for a little while to study and write in my journal to spend some time focusing. I began reading the gospel of John and was struck by something new. I love the beginning of John already because of the echo of Genesis, a very nice circle for our faith.
John does not talk about Jesus earthly birth, he immediately waxes poetic about the divinity, about Jesus’ role in the creation of all that exists. And also the fact that Jesus came to world, but the world did not know him. But these are things that I already loved about this chapter in John, something new struck me this morning (as it always does when I read scripture).
In John Jesus does not call his first two disciples, they follow him because John the Baptist tells them that he is the Messiah. Jesus answers the first question asked of him by the disciples with “Come and See” as well as when Nathaniel asked “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Phillip said to him, “Come and see.” John 1:45-46.
What kind of precedent does this set for us as faithful people? Does this question truly set a paradigm for what we are to do as people who follow Jesus? Mother Teresa always answered questions about how and what she and her sisters were doing in Calcutta with “Come and see.” I don’t know how many people took her up on that, but maybe that is how we should look at faith.
The things that “come and see” doesn’t have is a plan for salvation, a 5 steps to fix your life, or denomination. “Come and see” has absolutely no trappings of organized religion, it only has the component of being willing to be active. It has the need for people to get off of their duffs and get going. Sometimes I feel that we have become overly dependent on hiding behind denominational walls and hiding behind doctrinal arguments to truly prevent any sense of Christian unity.
What changes when our ideas of our faith change from “I go to _______________ church” to “come and see what we are doing to serve our neighbor and the other in our community and world.” Maybe this is a radical idea to some, the idea for me is not radical, but truly living it is. I think there are so many people doing great things to serve those around us.
How can make our spiritual and religious lives more about “come and see” and less about how we are different or how you can look, talk, act, and live just like everyone else. Maybe we need to really look at our identities and our lives to see how we can bring ourselves to “come and see” where Jesus lives, and also show others to “come and see”. Like the woman at the well, go tell everyone “come see the man who told me all that I had done” (and loved me anyway…)