2nd Sunday after Epiphany—Year A—January 19, 2014
Preached at the Lutheran Church of Framingham
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in your sight oh Lord, our strength, and our redeemer.
Jesus says to us “come and see”
Just as he said to the disciples, Jesus invites us to “come and see.”
“Come and see” God’s people gathered to pray and worship.
“Come and see” God’s love in-fleshed.
“Come and see” God’s forgiveness and acceptance of all.
“Come and see” God’s word’s transformative power.
“Come and see” God’s inclusive invitation to water and the table.
“Come and see” Christ as host and meal, where no one goes hungry.
“Come and see” the promise of daily bread, forgiveness, love, and new life testified to.
“Come and see” the abundance of gifts—monetary and spiritual—given by God.
“Come and see” how different God’s vision for this world is from its reality.
“Come and see” how God works through each of us to make that vision ever more a reality.
We say to others “come and see”
God’s invitation does not stop there. It is infectious. Soon we say to others “come and see.”
This is what we call evangelism. Some are afraid of this word or the concept as a whole. They may have had a bad experience or not want others to associate them with some bad experience. However, it is time to reclaim the “E” word, for what it really is: evangelism is invitation. “Come and see.”
It is not evangelism when someone asks, “do you know where you are going when you die?” or “have you accepted Jesus Christ?” Those are questions, not invitations to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
Evangelism is not about getting new people in those doors, so they will become members, and give us more money or volunteer for committees. It is about spreading the Gospel—the good news that God loves us no matter what.
Our Christian call is not to “threaten, […] coerce, […] intimidate, […] woo […] or plead, but simply to see and share.”
Jesus invites us, we see, we share, we invite…and then….we see again, someone else sees in a new we, we share, we invite…that is the never ending cycle of evangelism…the constant spreading of the best news on earth.
What is it that God is up to in your life right now? Have you shared that with anyone? Have you invited anyone to come share in that positive experience?
I have another homework assignment for you. Now that you hopefully have been preaching good news to yourself for two weeks (“I am a child of God, deserving of love and respect, and God will use me to shine light in the world”) go spread that light. Preach a little of that good news to others—tell others what God says to you: “come and see.”
Hand out postcards/invites
Jesus says to us “go and see”
But as you go out, do not do so with an ego, as if you are the only one with this wonderful gift to share. It is important to realize that you can encounter God as much in others (even non-Christians) as they do in you.
God is at work all over the world. Notice God in beautiful snowfalls or your neighbor that shoveled your driveway. Notice God in the gift of a quilt or a warm meal. Notice God in a warm smile or a comforting word. Notice places where God needs to be felt and seen more, and then turn God’s invitation around, and in prayer invite God to “come and see.”
Those three little words are such an important invitation. God says to you “come and see.” You can invite others to “come and see.” As a body we are sent into the world to “go and see.” And we can even invite God to do the same. “Come and see.” Amen.
 David Lose, Dear Working Preacher