Faithlife
Faithlife

Come and see

Time after Epiphany 2018  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  9:12
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What are you waiting for?

In Advent we did a lot of waiting. I commented a few times on it. First, I don’t usually mind waiting (for people) — actually I mind it a lot less than being the one who is waited on. Second, at times I don’t wait well — particularly if I’m excited about a present, or a new start, or something like that.
And there are times around the house, where I think I could say that a lot. Times where I wonder how high of a pile of dishes there would be in the house, if I waited for someone else to do them. Then again, there are times when everyone else could wonder how high of a pile of bills there would be, as they wait for me to finally get them paid.
In the last few months, I’ve been trying to be more proactive — not waiting necessarily for things to happen — but trying to anticipate and get things done in advance. It worked fairly well in the run-up through Advent and through Christmas. The missals, presentations, sermons, were all done well in advance.
I’ve even started going to the gym fairly regularly. I won’t say daily — because there are some days where too much of life seems to get in the way. Part of that is from a desire to get healthier, and part is from a desire to not be so winded when refereeing next summer.
As part of this effort, I’ve started to wear an activity tracker. It measures my heart rate, my activity level, even my movement via GPS. However, one of the nice features (or annoying features — depending on how you look at it) is that it reminds me when I’ve been inactive for too long. The thing vibrates on my wrist, and displays a message of “It’s time to move!”
It’s not that I don’t know that being sedentary is a bad thing. It isn’t even that I don’t know that office work, and sitting in general is now seen as pretty damaging to our health. However the reality is, that I often forget to move. If I’m ready to take a break, I find the reminder helpful — if I’m in the middle of something (like the research for or writing of a sermon) the reminder can be pretty annoying.
It almost gets to the point at times, where I’ve come to rely on the tracker to tell me when to move. As in, “I’ll work on this project, until the tracker tells me to get up, and then I’ll move on to something else.” So, I end up waiting to be told to move.

What is your faith waiting for?

Jesus’ words to the two disciples of John were fairly simple:
John 1:39 NRSV
He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
Philip uses those same words when talking to Nathanael:
John 1:46 NRSV
Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Here’s what struck me about both of these situations: Movement and experience are required. Being a disciple of Jesus isn’t a “head thing” — it isn’t a case of reading the right discourse or treatise and gaining a magical understanding of how God wants the world to be. Being a disciple of Jesus is a “heart thing” — a case of experiencing something.

What would an activity tracker for your faith look like?

The one on my wrist looks like this most of the time: Date, Time, and a chart of how far I’ve progressed during the day toward my activity goal (which until recently was set to the equivalent of one step above couch-potato and now is two steps above that status.)
Some times, it looks like this: A summary of some sort of activity that I’m currently engaged in (running — OK — walking with purpose — on the treadmill). It monitors my heart rate, and if I’m outside how far I’ve travelled.
Occasionally, it looks like this: Where I’ve met the goal that has been set for my desired activity level. It used to look like that daily, however that wasn’t enough of a challenge, so I decided that the next level up was what was necessary.

What would you track in advancing your faith?

++Minutes spent in prayer each day?
++Number of biblical verses read daily?
++Impact on the lives of others around you?
How would you know if you ever reached your goal?
I think that in some ways we might not ever reach the ultimate goal — but we can meet little ones along the way. Take time in prayer daily, open the scriptures and read them, be kind and generous to everyone you meet — because God knows we all need it.
Here is your invitation from Jesus — to be a disciple — Come and See — join him on the journey of faith, experience life in a different way,
John 1:51 NRSV
And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
For the ability to see the angels of God — for the ability to be the angels of God — we give thanks.
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