‘COME AND SEE ..........’

I just love receiving invitations· don’t you?

Long ago, an invitation was issued by angels one night to some shepherds while they were working to - 'Come and see .....'

But - 'Come and see' - what?

Their invitation was to 'come and see' the long·awaited and promised Messiah. They saw Jesus and He was 'wrapped in cloths and lying a manger.'

And their reaction following their visit?

Luke records in his gospel – The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen which were just as they had been told.'

Our church has recently completed an enormous task of issuing invitations to many folks under the auspices of the Stewardship Campaign. These invitations took many different forms such as letters, posters, leaflets, bookmarks, newspaper articles, radio interviews and commercials.

And all with the same purpose, to invite all those to· 'Come and see ... .'

But· 'Come and see'· what?

Many folks responded to these invitations and came on Sunday. 15th November 2015 and saw all that God had done over the many years in Rutherglen West and Wardlawhill Church. They were rewarded with a wonderful display of many photographs, paintings, banners, leaflets of celebration events, awards, Orders of Service, Certificates, and printed prayers.

In addition many came to the special 'Come to Church’ Service including visitors, and some folk returning to church after a long absence. It was a very special and significant event.

And their reaction following their visit?

Well many returned 'glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.'

I believe that many 'saw' Jesus that day as well.

Many 'saw' Jesus in our warm welcome, in our love for one another, in our love for the visitor and stranger, in our worship, in our praise, in our various organisations, in our time of fellowship afterwards, and in all that was on display.

But most of all, many 'saw' Jesus in our congregation's love for God – and - in our love for the same Jesus who was visited so long ago by the shepherds.

The ongoing challenge for each of us – do people 'see' Jesus in us where we live or work? Do they recognise Jesus' through our love and concern for them outside of church?

Someone said that our real worship begins when we leave church on a Sunday morning.

The modern hymn writer, Graham Kendrick once wrote that - 'Our worship should be our lifestyle, and our lifestyle should be our worship.' Jesus must be at the centre of all that we do, all who we are, and in all our relationships.

As we approach Advent - the timeless invitation of the angels (and the Bible) remains extended to all to - 'Come and see'.

Come and 'see' the baby Jesus who was sent by God to become the man on the Cross. The One who came to fulfil the mission that His Father gave Him, namely to be the· 'Saviour' of the world.

As I celebrate my twelve months as your Locum and Pastor with much thanksgiving, my continued prayer for this Advent season, is that many will not only respond to that timeless invitation to 'Come and see' – but many will 'Come, see and believe' - and then in believing, will - 'Come, see, believe and know Jesus' as their own personal Saviour and Lord.

May God grant each one of you a most blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

John and Alison