Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Come and see

Yesterday at our college fellowship group, Sister Elena shared with us about community. I wasn't sure what she would share; honestly I expected it to be something "same old, same old" because over the years I've heard a lot of teaching about community. Sister Elena is certainly gifted and qualified to teach, and so I suppose it was in a moment of cynicism when I found myself pleasently surprised at what she shared with us.

John 1:35-39
The following day as John stood there agains with two of his disciples, Jesus passed, and John stared hard at him and said, "Look, there is the lamb of God." Hearing this, the two disciples followed Jesus. Jesus turned around, saw them following, and said, "What do you want?" They answered, "Rabbi" - which means teacher - "where do you live?" "Come and see," he replied; so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him the rest of the day.

Of all the passages there are in the Bible about community, I had never heard this one before. By Sister Elena's admission,it was both about community and call, but on both counts it was new to me.
First, we see that John acted as a signpost for the other disciples who were with him. Only after he told them that Jesus was the Lamb of God did they leave to follow him. All of us have people in our lives who point us toward God.
Next, Jesus asked them (rather directly, in this translation) what they wanted. In order for him to help them and lead them, he wanted to make sure they were after the right things. And the disciples were on a quest. They didn't stutter or stumble when Jesus asked them what they wanted, they simply told him.
Then, not only did Jesus invite them in, but they stayed with him the rest of the day. They saw Jesus' home and made themselves comfortable in it. In community, the home is an important thing. It's not just a place where you sleep and cook dinner; your home represents a part of who you are. By inviting people (or not inviting certain people) into our homes, we are demonstrating what's important to us.

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