Come and See

Dear City Dwellers,

I hope that you can each “come and see,“ Mayor Michael Hancock preach at God’s Grace Community Church (GGCC) this Sunday at 9am (please note that we do only have one service this Sunday and it is at 9am.)

In John's gospel, an often repeated phrase is “come and see.” Nathaniel asked, “Can anything good (Jesus) come out of Nazareth? And Phillip said to him “come and see.” (John 1:46)

“Come and see.” Why does that simple, clear invitation become so disturbing, so difficult to extend? The invitation to see Jesus has urgency about it that many of us find uncomfortable, if not impossible, to convey.

“Come and see Jesus. It’s not an invitation to observe Jesus from afar. Rather, it’s the call to share in his sufferings, to entrust one's whole life to the promise that his one is the Messiah, the Savior of the world. Come and see Jesus is the invitation to live by faith, to be turned toward our neighbor. It’s the invitation to come and die, to lay down one’s life for the sake of the gospel and the neighbor.

On August 28th we lift up the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream “ speech. King's testimony was one of disruption. For King, seeing Jesus became inseparable from following Jesus. That, he believed, left him no choice but to struggle, so that all might have access in society, to be jailed for his protests, to demand changes in housing laws, to challenge the war in Southeast Asia, to lead the call for civil rights legislation. Finally, it led him to Memphis, marching with striking laborers and there to die by an assassin's bullet.

“Come and see" for King was inseparable from the way of nonviolence. It meant immersing himself into the struggles of those living in poverty and injustice. “We are challenged to rid our nation and the world of poverty. Like a monstrous octopus, poverty spreads its nagging, prehensile tentacles not hamlets and villages worldwide. America has not met its obligations and its responsibilities to the poor,” King preached March 31,1968 just a few days before his assassination.

“Come and see Jesus"is the invitation to the way of the cross. Now we begin to recognize how disruptive the invitation to faith and faithful discipleship is to our way of thinking and being. Oh that we might never lose the childlike spontaneity and joy of inviting others to come and see Jesus. Oh, that we might never underestimate how disruptive is the way of discipleship.

Let us each “come and see” and invite others to “come and see” this Sunday when Mayor Hancock speaks at GGCC worship service. May the resurrected Jesus be on the move among us this day and always.

Still in one peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

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