Come and See
“What are you looking for?” This question might insert itself in a variety of settings. What are you looking for in a job candidate? In a job? Out of this class? In a partner? In a church? In the aisles of Target? Heck, right now people in Iowa and New Hampshire are getting asked countless times “What are you looking for in a presidential candidate?”
We are people who are often seeking. As a new semester, year and decade all begin, many are seeking a path forward. They are looking for who they will be, looking for that next step in their journey, or looking for a clear picture of their future.
This coming Sunday many churches will hear from the Book of John the first chapter. Jesus has just been baptized by John; later, John sees Jesus again and lets everyone know he saw with the Spirit descending like a dove and how this is the Son of God. There are two people who hear this and they decide they want to follow Jesus. Next comes one of my favorite exchanges in scripture:
When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day.” (John 1:38-39)
In our searching and in our looking I think many of us might pray to God to show us, tell us, make the path clear. I know there are times I wished that God had provided me a GPS for my life journey. However, I think what God invites us to, in our searching, is to Come and See. This passage from John says that the disciples remained with him that day. However, what we know from the rest of the story is that Jesus rarely stayed in one place long, and the disciples who decided to follow Jesus that day didn’t just get their answer because they found where he was staying that night. The disciples continued their following, their looking, and their answering Jesus’ invitation to Come and See.
Sometimes when we are looking for something we can get tunnel vision. We can actually miss what is around us. The future and calling that lay ahead for the disciples was not always easy. It was filled with just as many questions as answers and was very often uncomfortable. Yet over and over, they saw the grace, forgiveness, love, and wonder of God through Jesus. They saw Jesus creating community for those who had been excluded. They saw Jesus forgiving others and bringing healing and wholeness. They saw Jesus speaking out against injustice. They saw Jesus caring for those who were poor, orphaned, widowed, and sick. They saw Jesus turning the world upside down and challenging the systems of power and oppression. They saw Jesus willing to empty himself and go to the place of brokenness, exclusion, and death. Then they saw three days later, when Jesus brought life from death.
So I wonder, where am I — and where are you — being invited to Come and See? Maybe our next step is responding to that invitation in the world around us every day.
Jan. 15, 2020
- Archives of Devotional Writings from our Pastoral Staff
- “Some Lent!”
- (Your vocation here) of people
- A Point of Privilege
- A season of anticipation
- Advent = Hope
- All will be well
- Are we willing to cross the road for one another?
- Better Together
- Can we learn to be happy?
- Carrying the COVID Cross
- Come and See
- Did Jesus really suffer?
- Doing without in a life of plenty
- Don’t miss this moment
- Exiles with Vision
- Fear not!
- Feeling at Home
- Finding Purpose in the Journey
- Finding Words for Times Like These
- Forgiving others – and ourselves
- Getting ahead with Jesus
- Getting down on Jesus’ level
- Have yourself a merry little Christmas — somehow
- Holy Week and Taking Out the Trash
- Holy Week: The aid station late in the semester
- Hopes & Dreams vs Life in the Wilderness
- How glad we’ll be if it’s so
- I almost slipped
- In a time of uncertainty, these things are certain
- In praise of plans B … C … D …
- In Praise of Skeptical Disciples
- In the midst of grief, God will bring life
- Is there such a thing as being too forgiving?
- It’s a Three Day Weekend!
- It’s In the Bag
- It’s What’s Happening
- Killing off our future selves
- Lessons in fire building
- Let us work for real wellness in our communities
- Life Is a Highway
- Lilies and leaves and whatever else is beautiful
- Living in the Present
- O Lord, you know I hate buttermilk
- Of Fear and Failure
- On Christian Unity: When we’re not one big happy church
- On the Bucket List
- Pray and Let God Worry
- Preparing for the world to be turned rightside up
- Recovering from an Epic Fail
- Reformation calls for examination
- Remembering among the forgetful
- Seeing beauty in brokenness
- Signs of Love
- Starting Small
- Still in the storm
- Taking a Break from the Relentless
- Talking ourselves into it
- Thankfulness leads to joyfulness
- The Art of Holy Week
- The Funny Business of Forgiveness
- The Greatest of These is Love
- The Magi: Exemplars of Faith and Learning
- The Power of Small Conversations
- The Power of Taking a Sabbath
- The Spiritual Gift of Hindsight
- This can’t be done alone
- To be known
- You will be in our prayers this summer of 2020
- Ventures of which we cannot see the ending
- We had hoped
- What do you do with your anger?
- What is your base reality?
- What to do after you find your voice
- What to do on the day after
- What we know and what we don’t know
- When bad things happen
- When joy and sadness live together
- When the promise of resurrection is hard to believe
- When you offer up your broken cup
- Where God will be found
- Where is the good shepherd carrying you?
- Wilderness Journeys
- Year-end time management: Keeping the main thing the main thing
- Your Valpo roots will help you grow into your future