Dear St. Luke family:
In a Facebook post I read this week, a young woman reflected on an article pointing out that people can experience God everywhere, not just at church. The young woman said she totally believes that. As do I. God is everywhere; we can meet Christ in anyone, not just in church. These ideas aren’t New Age or spiritual-but-not-religious; they are actually supported in Scripture.
What this young woman wondered is whether we would notice God’s presence everywhere if we didn’t practice noticing it somewhere. She said that going to a particular building on a particular day at a particular time helps her practice noticing God’s “everywhere-ness.” This was written before the pandemic; I assume now she goes to a particular church website, YouTube channel or Zoom meeting. But in any event, she invited her Facebook friends to stop and notice today, and if it’s in their tradition, to go to church. Church is not perfect, she said. It’s practice.
In the passage from John’s gospel we will consider this coming Sunday, one of Jesus’ brand new disciples extends an invitation, as well. He tells his skeptical friend to “Come and see;” come and see who Jesus is, what his ministry is, how it fulfills God’s promises. That is exactly how the Christian faith has spread from the time of the disciples to the early Church to the present day: one person tells another, “Come and see.” As with the young woman on Facebook, the invitation isn’t a sledgehammer of truth. Rather, it’s having an experience that makes you sure that if somebody else simply saw, it would be enough.
Come and see. Church is not perfect. It’s practice. I’ll probably remind you many more times how much I love St. Luke’s mission statement: “Practicing love by following Jesus.” Our calling as the Church is to keep extending that gracious invitation to others (and to us!) to practice love, to become the people God calls us to be and the world needs. How might St. Luke extend that invitation? “Come and see!”
Grace and peace,