You Come And You See!
John 1: 43-50 (NRSVA)
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 about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ 46 Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, he said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ 48 Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’ 49 Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ 50 Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’
At school we give our children books, printed copies of Shakespeare and we go round the class taking turns to read out (stumble unhappily through) the dry and barely understood lines. No wonder they don’t like Shakespeare. But if we invited them, Come to Stratford, come to the theatre, come and see a skilled company performing…
we are excited that you have called out to us, “Follow me”.
We don’t deserve it, haven’t earned it, can’t do it on our own,
but we respond to your call and we set out to follow you.
Show us that friend, our Nathaniel,
the one we can invite to come and see you.
We want to invite them but we’re afraid to mess it up, so we are silent.
Our hearts burn with hope and love but we think they will mock us, so we are silent.
May your love for us and for them,
your love which calls us both to follow you,
may your love conquer our fear and open our mouths.
Show us the next step.
We want to jump right to the end,
to know and see where you are staying,
that’s where you are leading us, into your presence.
Teach us that the way to your presence is one step at a time.
We thank you that each step we take is one more step of commitment.
Commitment to following where you lead us,
commitment to travelling with the others you have called,
commitment to loving those you love.
Song of God, King of Creation,
thank you that you call us to follow you before you transform us,
thank you that as we follow you we are made new in your likeness.