Prayer: Guide us, Lord, in our experience with Jesus. Help us to invite others to experience Jesus.
Reading: John 11:32-44 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: So much to ponder in this text. So much. I call our attention to just three words: Come and see. “Where have you laid him?” Why not give Jesus the directions to Lazarus’ tomb? I would think that He knew his way around Bethany. Instead, they said “Come and see.” When Jesus’ first disciples asked Him where He was staying, he gave the same response, “Come and see.” (John 1:39) A day later Jesus’ disciple Philip told Nathanael that they had found the messiah who he indicated was from Nazareth. Remember Nathanael’s response? “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” If there was ever a question that would lead to a fight, there it is. Philip’s answer— “Come and see.” (1:46)
Come and see. Jesus was invited into the experience of Lazarus’ death. Those first two disciples were invited into the experience of Jesus. Nathanael was invited into the experience of Philip which was in reality an invitation to experience Jesus. Come and see.
I invite you again to experience Jesus. However, you do that. Experience Jesus. Come and see. I invite you to invite others, to Jesus. That may mean inviting them to church or to a book study or whatever. But our invitation is always to an experience. A relationship. And it may be that the one we invite may have a different experience with Jesus than we do. That’s o.k. Invite people to come and see Jesus and let what happens happen.
But first, come and see for yourself. Again and again.
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