Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? When Nathaniel said this to his brother Philip, he responded with “come and see”. When we are in conversations with people and the topic of Christianity comes up do we say “come and see”? We will have to invariably invite to experience the church, the people, its welcome.
When people ask about baptisms I always just invite them to come and see the church, come and see what we are about. When there are also weddings and other services I invite them to come and see.
There are four things that we must ask;
1. When we come into church we don’t ask anyone to leave anything outside, we bring our all, our mind, body and soul.
Together we are all on a journey, no one has arrived yet.
In the words on John Bunion “We are all pilgrims on a journey”
Let us all invite people to come and explore what it means to be Christian.
The latest course from the Church of England is called Pilgrims.
And we will be following that course through lent. If anyone wants to come and explore then come to these sessions, the first part from 6.30 is for people getting confirmed then afterwards for anyone wanting to explore.
2. Come and see a place where God is.
God of course is everywhere, but he is clearly evident here at Christchurch fulwood in our worship, in our community and in our actions. There is a quote that says we see God dimly through glass, and John talks about seeing God ascend and descend on the stairs to heaven.
And He said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
John of course was referring to the old testament dream that Jacob had in Genesis 28:10. When Jacob had that experience he said that surely God is in this place. We need to give God the best we can while we are here.
A bishop used to ask the question - Is the show worth joining. He meant was the quality of worship our best, because God doesn’t demand a bit or second best, he demands our best and all. Sometime I think that I am not giving you my best when I may end up writing a sermon on a Saturday before the Sunday service.
Because God is worth it. He is the one who came down from that ladder. When I started in a parish in St Thomas in Lancaster it was clearly evident that God was at work because couples used to fight over who would come to the service and who would stay home and look after the children in the evening service.
Come and explore, come and see, come to a place where God is.
3. Come and see unity.
Today marks the start of Christian unity week, and we will be praying for Christian unity through out the world. One of the roles of vicars and as I am finding out deans, is unity. We seem to have our own prejudices and motivations, but we need unity.
The New Testament talks about how the people could see there was unity among the Christians because they loved one another - it was clearly evident.
Is it evident in every church? It is no wonder that the world sometimes struggles to believe.
4. Come and see the cross.
We at Christ Church need to point to the cross. A song by Graham Kendrick sums up this last point. http://youtu.be/Vz9rgVEm2WY
Come and see us here at Christ Church and explore your faith.