John 1:43 The next day Jesus wanted to go into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.
As Summer winds down and we get ready for the start of school as well as the various Bible studies, Sunday School classes, and other programs here at BPC we have an opportunity to explore anew the task of evangelism.
Evangelism is often a scary and uncomfortable word for many Chrisitans. It can be scary because we often get the impression that we don’t know the right way to do it or know enough to do it effectively. Evangelism can be uncomfortable, because we don’t want to intrude on peoples lives and because religion (along with politics and money) is one of those topics we have often heard we shouldn’t talk about in public or at the dinner table. The thing is we often times chaulk evangelism up to be more complex than it is. Evangelism can be boiled down into two living our faith and inviting others to come and see.
The Good News, the Gospel, is something that can’t always be summed up in words. Jesus knew this and that is why his evangelism was as much if not more so an invitation to an experience, to a way of life, as it was a statement of who he is and what he is about. Jesus invited Philip to come and follow him, this is the very same invitation Jesus extends to each and everyone of us. And as his followers we are called to be evangelists as well, we are called to extend the invitation of Jesus.
John 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and the Prophets: Jesus, Joseph’s son, from Nazareth.”
46 Nathanael responded, “Can anything from Nazareth be good?”
Philip said, “Come and see.”
Philip invites Nathanael to “Come and see”, an invitation to join him in following Jesus. We can take our direction from Philip and tell people about Jesus and invite them to come and see.
For us to invite people to come and see Jesus is no small thing, since he is not physically among us we must rely on the Spirit’s movement in our midst as we seek to be the Body of Christ. We can invite people to come and see Jesus in the midst of the Church, where we, imperfect as we are, meet him in Word and Sacrament and strive to be his hands and feet in the world.
So this September I invite you to take on the ministry of evangelism and extend the invitation to our neighbors in Buffalo and beyond. Invite them to follow Jesus, to come and see him in the midst of our community of faith; in our worship, study, mission, and fellowship. This fall as we begin a new program year let us follow Jesus and invite others to come and see him in our midst!