Epiphany 2

RSS

Readings:

Sermon:

I recently re-watched Mama Mia the Movie. I recommend it as feel-good movie that you can sing along to and bask in the warmth of the sun.

During lockdown version 1, I acquainted myself with some new gins which various people recommended. I can recommend either Gordon’s Sicilian lemon gin or Damihle seaweed gin from West Wales.

Recommendations about various things like books, films, restaurants, dentists, car dealers, gin (the list goes on) are something many of use on regular basis. We listen to the critics, we listen to our friends. We also make recommendations.

We generally recommend things that we enjoy, that we know something about. We say: "Come and see," "Try it, you'll like it!" "This will be great." "You'll enjoy it." "Come and see!"

We hear this same message from Philip in today's Gospel. Philip says to his friend Nathanael, "Come and see. We have found the one promised by Moses and the Prophets."

When Philip invites Nathanael to "come and see for yourself," it reminds me that there are numerous people, places, and events that we recommend and invite our friends, family and acquaintances to "come and see."

Reflecting on this Gospel, the most important recommendation or invitation that we might ever make is the same one that Philip makes to Nathanael: "Come and see the Lord."

There must be countless people that you and I know who are looking for the love, joy, peace, hope, forgiveness, and salvation of the Christian Gospel. People who are looking for some Good News in the midst of all the bad news which seems to be overwhelming us. Just as Nathanael had been eagerly waiting the invitation, there are those around us, who are waiting our invitation. "Come and see!"  Who are the ‘Nathanaels’ in our lives? Who might be waiting for such a recommendation from us?

Do you remember Back to Church Sunday and other initiatives where we were asked to invite friends to “come and see”? Did you ever invite someone? I remember being invited to the Sunshine Corner at one of the local chapels when I was a child. 

So, who are our ‘Nathanaels’? Who are the people we know who are waiting for a recommendation? An invitation, not to a film  or a restaurant, but to "come and see!"

If we, ourselves, have discovered the Good News of the Gospel, if we know God’s love, forgiveness, peace, fellowship, and salvation, then we have a recommendation, an invitation, to make. Surprisingly, it might not be to "come and see" at a church at the moment but may be online. We simply might need to direct them to a church which has a different tradition from ours or even to another denomination and that's ok. We are all meant to "come and see" and find God's saving grace. Like Philip, the responsibility for the recommendation rests with each of us.

There is a story told of three young friends who had received an invitation, similar to Nathanael's, to "come and see." With mild interest they pulled into the grassy car park. They went into the huge tent where a revival meeting had already begun. The huge crowd was midway through the opening hymn. The tent was packed and it seemed there was no room for the three to sit. As they turned to leave, an usher spotted them and led the young men to three empty seats in the front.

We don't know what became of the usher, but we do know that one of those three young men committed his life to Christ that night, just as Nathanael had done in today's Gospel. The man's name was Billy Graham. What would have happened if that usher had not shown them to those seats in the front?

Who are the ‘Nathanaels’ in our lives waiting for the recommendation to "come and see?" Who are the ‘Nathanaels’ we can and should reach out to in this lockdown?

God can and will use all of us to invite our ‘Nathanaels’ to "come and see." And what we might think are our imperfections, limitations, or liabilities might prove to be just what God needs to share the love of Jesus Christ with our ‘Nathanaels’.

We never know what our actions, our body language, our looks, or our words might produce. And, since we are already in the habit of recommending films, restaurants, and books and even gin to all sorts of people, shouldn’t we also recommend the faith that is within us by sharing the love and the joy and the peace of Jesus Christ like Philip shared with his friend?

Who are our ‘Nathanaels’? Seek them out, as Philip did, and invite them to "come and see!"

Is this going to be a lockdown challenge we take up or, like many of my projects, left for tomorrow…which never comes?

 


Page last updated: 11th January 2021 9:00 AM
Bookmark and Share