“Come and see.” That is the invitation we hear repeated throughout the introduction to the Gospel of John in John 1:35-51. It is an invitation Jesus issues to Andrew and an unnamed disciple. It is the invitation Philip issues to his friend, Nathanael. And we can imagine hearing a similar invitation as Andrew invites his brother, Simon Peter, to join him in following Jesus.

I believe that as we read John’s introduction, we hear that same invitation repeated over our own lives: ”Come and see.” As you read the account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, come and see who Jesus is and experience the life he is bringing into our world.

I am looking forward to the next many weeks of Sunday worship services (between now and Easter Sunday). Throughout these coming weeks, we will have the opportunity to open up the Gospel of John as I preach the text and as we all open our ears, eyes, minds, and hearts to see and experience Jesus. I know this will be a season of growth in my own faith walk as I learn more about Jesus, and I hope it will be for you as well. The Gospel of John is a rich text that can teach us year after year, decade after decade.

And as we prepare to experience the Gospel story, I hope that you will consider who you might issue this same invitation to: ”Come and see.” Who among your family or friends, your co- workers or neighbors might you invite to come and see and learn more about who Jesus is?

In 2013, we accomplished good work. We updated our website and now have an informative and beautiful web presence. We developed a new UBC logo. We remodeled spaces in our building, especially those spaces where our children come to learn and grow. We launched a fantastic program of Christian nurture and biblical education for our children. All of these were important and worthy efforts.

Even so, a great website and updated spaces are not enough to ensure that UBC will remain a vibrant and growing congregation for generations to come. If we want to remain a place where people can come to discover the good news of Jesus, a place where they can come with as little or as much faith as they have, with as many questions as they have answers, then we are going to have to commit to being a people, each of us, willing to issue the invitation, “Come and see.”

We all know we have a wonderful church family in UBC. We all also know, I hope, that we have much work to do to invite new generations of Jesus followers into our fellowship. So please, join me in making a commitment to be more like Andrew and Philip in John 1, to be people willing to go out into the community with an invitation on our lips: “Come and see.”

Journeying Together,