“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.
Come and see. The invite that was extended to discover about this man named Jesus. Come and see. The invite I am learning about in my own life as I share in group life and with others.
When I moved to Edmonton I was challenged in my own faith journey to not just surround myself with people like me. For far too long I found myself surrounded by followers of Jesus, which was a good thing, but I was missing something important; the call to others to “come and see” in my own life what Jesus is all about. After we settled as a family, I went through my hobbies and interests with the purpose to surround myself with people different than me. What God began to do was incredible as I got connected to a few different families. It started as small and minor conversations that have now led to sharing in activities with kids to dinners together.
Without verbally saying, “come and see,” we have begun the journey of praying that they would see Jesus at work in us.
As I reflect on this journey that is still in its early beginnings, I am reminded about our MSC and the importance of gathering together, and when we gather as a group these new friends of mine are constantly on my mind. What does it look like to be a community that cares for them, not as a project to be fixed, but as people who deserve to be loved? Why? Because although they may not realize it yet, we know they too, were created in the image of the Creator. That the God who loves me and laid down His life for me, also did it for them. And that Jesus longs for them to get to know Him even more than I do.
So, group life for us has been about how we can extend the “come and see” invitation to those around us. It has been a learning experience and anything but neat. In fact, I often find myself asking Jesus for help and guidance as I am lost on my own. And our group is working to create a place where anyone at any stage or walk of life can come and find friendship, care, hospitality, grace, and Jesus’ love regardless of if they believe in Him yet or not. Why? Because I believe that it is through this gathering together, loving those different than us, and living in community with others who don’t yet know Jesus is a way we extend the invitation to “come and see” the goodness of God.