“We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote–Jesus of Nazareth . . . Come and see.”  –John 1:44-45

How often do we hear the words, “come and see”?  You know it’s shorthand for “This is so amazing I can’t describe it. Words don’t do it justice.   Come and see.”

My kids, especially when they were young, found everything fascinating.  “Come and see.”  “Come and see.” “Mom, come and see.”  “Right now. Come and see.”

Many of us flatlanders remember the first time we saw the Rocky Mountains.  I had seen photos of the mountains.  I had heard about other people’s vacations to the mountains.  But I didn’t understand how the sight of mountains can take your breath away until the peaks soared above me.rocky

I started out this week enthused about how easy John 1:35-50 makes evangelism.  “Come and see.”  No need for lengthy sermons, deep discussions about theology, or the right sequence of inspired words.  “Come and see.”  “Come and see for yourself.” 

Shorthand for “Come to church and see”.

But  now it is Friday, and I’m a little discouraged.  If I’m inviting people to come meet Jesus, what exactly will they see?  Churches, unfortunately, have scarred some people for life.  

Judgmental churches who convinced people they could never measure up.  “I’m not good enough for these people, so I for sure am not good enough for God.” (This could be an entire rant on the religious right.  I am religious, and I’m “right” in that I’m a political conservative as opposed to never wrong.  But for Pete’s sake, people, do you ever listen to how unhappy and hateful you sound?)

Boring churches that drain every bit of excitement out of following Christ.  “You’re only really worshipping when you sing `In the Garden’ and `Sweet Hour of Prayer’. Over. And over. And over.”

Confused churches, who try not to think a lot about why they show up every week.  “Out of habit, I guess. It’s my turn to usher.”

Churches that mostly resemble the local Chamber of Commerce meeting.  “Dress nice.  Sit quietly. Only speak when recognized by the chairman.”

What’s in our churches that anyone would want to come and see?  Don’t tell me “But Christ is there” unless you’re prepared to give concrete examples and explain what’s happening that’s so exciting. And a word of warning: I’m not impressed much by chaotic youth groups, perfectly tuned choirs, and nice buildings. I’m only interested in meeting the Jesus the disciples met.

If you’re fired up enough, words won’t do it justice.  I’ll want to come and see.