When we read the gospel of John, some if us have come to believe that when Philip said, “come and see, ” that this equates to our responsibility to invite people to church. But Philip was not doing that. Let’s talk about Philip’s invitation and how it applies to us.
Two Peas In A Pod
We know from church history that these two were close. We can read in the scripture that they shared an thirst for the Messiah. Another look and apparently there was some trust and credibility because Nathanael embraces the invitation, coupled with some doubt.
They were two peas in a pod. The pod was their thirst for the Messiah. Unlike many of us, they saw each other as equals. How many people see us as equals when we invite them to church? Or rather, how much have we shared in their pain and longing?
Pain Connects Us
What if we translated Philip’s invitation this way, “I have found that which we have been laboring over together. My thirst is quenched, and I want you to experience the same, because you know how much I care about you.” Nathanael knew that Philip shared in his pain. They were connected through their pain, almost like a support group.
Connecting with someone can only happen when we are fostering relationships. I admit it is difficult to foster relationships in today’s society of shallowness, selfie’s, and regular status updates on social media about how awesome my life is (especially when it’s not). I’m not saying that selfies or social media are bad in and of themselves, but if we are not careful they can replace relationships instead of enhance them.
We Are All Becoming
Sometimes I wonder what Philip and Nathaniel sat around and talked about. Did they gaze into the stars and talk about God and the meaning of life? Do you think they laughed together and had fun, and shared in each other’s tears? How often do I discuss the meaning of life with others (not talk at them, with them)? Am I there for people in their sorrow when they need someone to show them God’s love?
It is easy for us to come across as “having arrived” because “we are Orthodox” and they are not. However, the truth is that I am a fellow human on the search for that which makes me whole. The next time I tell someone to “come and see, ” I hope it will be from common ground.