Monday, September 13, 2010

The Great Invitation

We began a new series on Sunday. Based in John's gospel, we're exploring the impact Jesus had on people's lives. We began with Philip and Nathanael. As part of our study we looked at the great invitation, here are my notes:

“Come and see”, and “Follow me” form one of the greatest invitations you will ever receive. As followers of Jesus Christ, we can offer this great invitation to others by simply inviting them to “come and see”. That’s our part. It’s not up to us to convince them to follow. As Ally reminded me yesterday, one of my tutors at college says in his book about Jesus that Jesus was not in the business of persuading but in the business of presenting opportunities. We can present the opportunity to come and see, Jesus will present the opportunity to come and follow.

But we also need to remember what it is to which we are inviting people. We may invite them to church, but church is not the thing to which we are inviting them. It’s not about Sunday. It never should have been, it was never meant to be. We are not inviting people to join a social club of like-minded individuals who enjoy the same things. We are inviting them to meet Jesus. To encounter the Son of God. Sunday is not all that we are. We are so much more, the invitation is to so much more. Jesus talked about abundant life. I think that sounds like an awful lot more than 90 minutes in church once a week.

For me it’s summed up in a poster that’s been on the notice board for some time now. Matthew designed it, and I gave him the text. It says this:
Don’t go to church, come to life.
The invitation Jesus offers you is an invitation to a transformed life and a restored relationship with the God who loves you passionately and misses you immensely. He crossed space and time to reach you, and he reaches out to you and says: Come and see, come and follow me.

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