You need to come and see and then you can go and tell… did you know that? I think you might have. The Gospel this week is about the day after Jesus is baptised and revealed to be the Messiah (John 1.29-42). He walks by John who baptized him the day before. You remember. John had objected to the idea that he should baptize Jesus – he wanted Jesus to baptize him. Why was it important for John to baptize Jesus? In a word, revelation. John did not know for certain that Jesus was the Son of God until this fact was revealed to him by the Father and the Spirit. There was the bird coming down to him and a voice that John could hear. At that moment, John knew that he knew that it was Jesus that he needed to tell other people about.
Hence, this is why he loudly declared the next day that Jesus was “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world… behold him!”. We use it in our eucharistic worship to declare that we too see Jesus and recognize him for who he truly is. We come forward to receive the bread and the wine so that we can participate in and declare ourselves to be a part of his body in the world. From there, we are sent out into the world (having been broken up like the bread and dismissed from the presence of the Lord) to see and serve Jesus in the world. In fact, we are living out our own baptisms, is spite of the fact that most if not all of us don’t remember the act of being baptised our own selves.
We are compelled to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbour as ourselves.” It is something that is promised in act of baptism and continues in the living out of that baptism: that we are going to actively search for Christ and wherever and whenever we find him, serve him in the places and spaces and in the people we discover we are neighbours with. It is not upon us to fix them, agree with them, like or even like them. We need to leave the notion that we remain trapped in high school behind and disabuse ourselves of such notions.
It is incumbent upon us to serve Christ wherever and whenever we find him, seeking to love him through our service and love of those who we find to be our neighbours. We do this not as individuals but as a community of believers. We see and receive Jesus together and then we through out the rest of the week seek Jesus, to find him wherever we ourselves go. There is a pattern to the ways in which we witness to Christ’s presence in this community. We look for Jesus and when we find him, we receive him that we might know him. In knowing him, we can tell others about our encounters with Jesus and how we saw him. This will encourage others to seek him where they are and where they go, so that they can see Jesus and know him for themselves.
If there is to be another generation of the Anglican Church of Canada across this country then there is a necessity in people, believers and followers of Christ to draw people who have not seen into their lives, their homes, their schools and workplaces, their churches. We need to invite and draw them in so that they can see and receive him and then go out and tell others what they have seen.