John 1:43-51 (click for full reading)
“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..”
Hidden in Plain Sight
(click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
In the sermon this week I shared a portion of an article written by a woman named Kelly who was contemplating returning to church after staying away from worship for over eight years. Kelly confessed that the thought of returning to church again brought up mixed feelings and more than a little fear.
What would you say to Kelly who wrote the article about her fears of attending church again? If your congregation were the church she writes about, how might you invite her to worship? What about your experience of your church have you valued so much that you would say to someone, “come and see” like Philip says to Nathanael in our gospel reading?
It’s not difficult to criticize the church today. I suppose some of what we do may seem scripted or silly. Some of what we argue about is not central to our mission and some of it is trivial. Some of the words we speak are ancient and unfamiliar.
But speaking for our worshiping community here at Prince of Peace, when we gather for worship, the Holy Spirit is clearly present. We feel the presence of God and so will you. There is forgiveness here and grace and hope. No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
Question to Ponder/Discuss
1. What are some of the things you value about being part of a church community?
2. What are some of the main factors that cause people to disengage from the church community?
3. Have you ever gone through a long stretch where you stayed away from the church? What brought you back?
The most common reason most first time visitors give for attending worship is that someone invited them. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well, get out there and give it a try. You can do it! If they tell you they don’t think church is for them, just say, “come and see!”