Wednesday Word: Come and See
For those of you who worshiped with us this past Sunday, or for those of you who watched the service online, you will recall that “Come and See” was the connecting theme throughout the sermon.
When we have a chance to talk to people about our faith, it can be a complicated process. So we invite them to come and see how we pray. Come and see how we reach out to the wider community. Come and see how we feed the hungry. Come and see how we offer a quiet, safe place to be with God.
The gospel from John had Jesus answering a question about where he was staying with, “Come and see.” I suggested that Jesus was inviting the new disciples to come and see good news given to the poor. Come and see the oppressed go free. Come and see captives released. Come and see the powerful brought down and the lowly raised up.
I also suggested that Jesus invited them to come and see him staying with the poor. Come and see him staying with the captives. Come and see him staying with the hungry. Come and see him living in the kingdom of God in the here and now.
This past Monday was the day this nation honors Martin Luther King, Jr. He lived in a time of great turmoil and divides in our country, much like today. I don't know which time was worse, as both times have/had racial hatreds overtly acted on, synagogues burned and Jews attacked, and it seems we are being told that the answer to all of this fear and violence is more fear and violence.
And yet, Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped into those times and said we shall overcome through peaceful actions. He dreamed of times when racial divides were ended and, like Paul before him, proclaimed a vision of equality among God's children. He invited the nation to come and see what we could be like living in unity rather than divided.
Not so long ago we renewed our baptismal vows, promising to work for the kingdom of God in a broken and hurting world. “Will you persevere in resisting evil? Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ? Will you love your neighbor as yourself? Will you strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being?”
We live in difficult times where racism, bigotry, fear, and hatreds have been given license to roam free. We need to persevere in resisting evil. We need to proclaim the Good News of God in Christ. We need to love our neighbors rather than fear them. We need to work for justice and peace. We need to feed the hungry, free the captive, raise up the lowly.
We need to invite people to come and see that these are things for which the Episcopal church stands. These are things for which we work to achieve.
Come and see, and then work to make it happen.