Greetings St. John’s Lutheran Church!
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” – John 1:45-46
As I am writing this Christmas still approaches. One aspect of the Christmas story we sometimes overlook is the element of invitation. The angel Gabriel invites Mary to be the mother of God’s son, Jesus. A host of angels invite the shepherds to travel and see the baby. A star is a signal of invitation to the wise men to travel and see the child. “Come and be a part of this wondrous and awesome event! Enter the story! Behold the holy child!” This invitation is extended to all people: women and men, to the foolish and wise, to the poor and wealthy.
Invitation is also an important part of Jesus’ ministry, especially his early ministry as people are learning about who he is and what he is doing. As we enter
the season after Epiphany in January, we will be invited to enter the story of Jesus’ ministry: behold the Lamb of God, follow him, repent and receive mercy, speak God’s word.
To be a Christian is to be invited into the wonder of God’s continually unfolding story. It is also to extend that invitation to others just as Philip does in these two verses from the Gospel of John. Jesus invites Philip to follow him, and what does Philip do? Philip turns right around and passes the invitation on to his friend, Nathanael. Notice that Philip is not daunted by the skepticism and general lack of enthusiasm of his friend. Philip does not scold or rebuke Nathanael, but simply underlines the invitation: “Come and see.”
Who invited you to come and see? Who can you invite? Remember, there is no need to be put off by someone’s skepticism or lack of enthusiasm. There is no need to judge someone’s hesitancy. Simply underline the invitation, “Come and see. Enter the story. Behold the son of God!”
In Christ, Pastor Kat