Thursday, January 18, 2018

Bishop’s Note: January 18, 2018 – “Come and See”

Bishop Eric Menees

     The road to discipleship begins with an invitation. Who was it who invited you to church; to believe in Jesus; to be a disciple? For me, it was Bob Lamar who invited me to church when I was 13. Soon after, Fr. David Heaney invited me to believe in Jesus, and it was Madge Miller who invited me to become a disciple of Jesus Christ! Thank God for these three people in my life!

     Last Sunday’s Gospel lesson from St. John gives us one man’s story of receiving an invitation to discipleship: “43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.””

     Jesus sets the example for us as his disciples, and he was never shy about inviting people to follow him.  Of course, that invitation includes more than just the surface invitation.  Many people are invited to come to church, but that is only the first step in the process.  We must pray that the individual’s heart will be touched; touched by the witness of faithful Christians; touched by the Truth of the Word of God faithfully read and taught; and touched by the Holy Spirit in worship and - when appropriate - the sacraments.

     Once the heart has been touched, we are encouraged to take the next step and invite the person to “Come and See” that Jesus really is who scripture says he is and who we say he is!  We don’t have to worry that Jesus won’t show up! We don’t have to worry that he will not answer our prayers. We don’t have to worry, because Jesus is a man of his word! He has to be, because he is the Word!

     This is the lesson that the disciples learned and to which St. Peter made his outrageous confession: “You are the Christ! The Son of the Living God!”

     I pray you all a blessed Epiphany!

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