Come. Follow

John 1:35-42

This end of the first chapter of the Gospel according to John  is one  at which I have not really paid much attention to thus far during my Christian journey.  But as I read the appointed Gospel lesson for today two words  stuck out  for me. Both of them are verbs. Can you guess which verbs  they are?

Bear with me, I’m a wordsmith who is also in the practice of  ” lectio divina”, or  a way of praying the Scriptures which Benedictines everywhere practice daily.

Jesus tells two men, Philip & Nathaniel, to ” Follow Me” in verse 43 of today’s Gospel lesson. The two men oblige, but  what follows is also rather interesting.   Nathaniel says of Jesus” Can anything good come out of  Nazareth?” Philip replies ” Come and see.”

 At  at the end of today’s lesson we have Jesus  saying to two of His first disciples” Follow Me” This is not a polite request, it is a command.   the dialog that occurs between Philip & Nathaniel after Christ tells them to  come follow Him  shows some doubt  & perhaps fear.

Following Christ is not easy & in my own spiritual journey during these past  two years or so has shown me  that when Christ calls , I need to listen to him.   Oftentimes it takes   some seemingly external  catalyst to  get our attention when Christ  calls us out of our comfort zone.  A catalyst can take many forms & often we humans  are totally unaware of the calling until a crisis of some sort occurs .  The crisis need not be one of epic proportions,   any little  change  in our  lives  can be & often is a sign of  Christ calling us  to serve  Him in a new way or even in an entirely new place. 

My own spiritual crisis led me to The Episcopal Church & for that I am forever thankful to our Lord.  That initial leap of faith was scary, I didn’t know much about The Episcopal Church at all{ although it had always fascinated me, mostly because we Episcopalians are so similar to our Roman Catholic brothers & sisters with regards to our liturgy} I only knew a handful of families from the local Episcopal parish. But as soon as I attended that first  ” Ordinary Time” Sunday & received Eucharist  I just * knew* Christ was calling me home.  My knowing was not  intellectual knowledge, the way one might know the answer to a math problem or a  piece of trivia on  Jeopardy. This knowledge  abided deep within me &  was so powerful that I began to cry in earnest.

It was not easy, as I’d been a baptized Protestant since early adulthood & I knew that leaving  my Protestant roots would be costly.  But in  retrospect I have no regrets, save for  wishing that I’d listened to  Christ saying ” come & see” sooner.

“Come and See,” says Christ. Even today, he beckons all of us to  invite others to church &  introduce  them to Christ, the one who  insisted that Philip, Nathaniel  & all the other first-century disciples  follow Him .

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