“Come and See,” says Jesus (John 1:39)
I think of “Come and see” as one of God’s favorite lines. God could tell us in advance about all the things we might experience, and all the transformation we might undergo - but God doesn’t want to sell us on some fancy program. Rather, God wants our lives to be transfigured. So God simply says to us, “just come and see”. And don’t you know - the transformation happens as we rise and follow curiously.
This week, I have a simple invitation to you: just come on Sunday and see. You will see that St. George’s is different than it was a year ago. You will see that we have been on an incredible journey of faith. When we look back, we can see how far we’ve come; and when we look forward, the future seems so much more possible and real.
It all started with an invitation from God to bring something dark and difficult out into the light. And thanks be to God: many long-standing parishioners said yes to God’s invitation. By God’s grace we have done something incredibly hard, because it was important - too important not to do it, and because St. George’s is worth it. And by God’s miraculous grace we have emerged from this difficult journey stronger, more resilient, more able to trust one another, and with greater confidence that God is at work calling us towards our future.
None of this could have been done by any one person alone (trust me on this). It has been the work of God, working amidst his beloved people, and it has been incredible to see God at work. I have never experienced God working so powerfully in a community like this.
I am so proud of those who have done this deep work. And I am also so proud of those who have come more recently to St. George’s who have nonetheless been praying and encouraging us and walking steadily and faithfully alongside us. My heart is so grateful to you for your graciousness as we’ve had to do our healing work.
So come on Sunday and see - and it will be obvious to all how far God has brought us. See that, although we have scars (all of us have scars), we are not broken; although we have struggled and suffered, we are not crushed. Rather we stand in the power of the resurrected Christ: his wounds no longer hurt him, and by his power these wounds no longer hurt us. We can stand proudly and powerfully, ready to serve his mission in the world, ready to shine bright as a beacon of hope in Northeast Calgary.
So come and see.
And photographers among us: kindly bring your cameras, and speak to me before the service :)