Lenten Devotional // Day 8

Thursday, March 10
INVITATION by Suzanne Bassler

John 1:35-50
The next day John was standing again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus walking along he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard what he said, and they followed Jesus.
When Jesus turned and saw them following, he asked, “What are you looking for?”
They said, “Rabbi (which is translated Teacher), where are you staying?”
He replied, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
One of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Christ). He led him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
The next day Jesus wanted to go into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.
Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and the Prophets: Jesus, Joseph’s son, from Nazareth.”
Nathanael responded, “Can anything from Nazareth be good?”
Philip said, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said about him, “Here is a genuine Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?”
Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”
Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are God’s Son. You are the king of Israel.”
Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these!
Before I worked for the church, I was working a part time job on top of my 9-5. That is where I met Andy. For those of you that aren’t familiar, he was our former Worship Director. He would come to my work regularly and speak with one of my coworkers about this amazing church where he worked. I would often overhear the conversations, but didn’t really engage. One day, Andy eagerly invited me to check it out. I was hesitant. I hadn’t been to church in a while and had lost most of my relationship with God. I debated back and forth over the following week.

The following Sunday however, I found myself walking up this huge set of concrete stairs to our old McCausland site. I was immediately drawn in by the music and felt a connection that day that I hadn’t felt in years. That was 13 years ago. Even with all my hesitations, I am so glad I accepted that invitation, it has literally changed my life.

In this scripture Jesus says “Come and See” and “Follow Me”. He extends several invitations to several people that he comes across. This is yet another example of Jesus being open and inviting to all. John, the two disciples, as well as Philip accept Jesus’ invitation without hesitation. Often, when we are faced with an invitation, we are uncertain. We have questions that flood us regarding all the what ifs. But what if we were more like John, Philip, and the disciples, we wouldn’t waver when an invitation was extended to us. If you think about it, when we are the one inviting friends, family or acquaintances to do or try something, it is often because it is something we are truly excited about. We want them to have the opportunity to partake in the exciting and amazing thing. That may be a new restaurant, a new product, new music, meeting someone new at a party, or even worship at our church. We want the ones we are inviting to accept readily because we think they will enjoy the experience. BUT, we generally do not hold ourselves to that same expectation when we are on the receiving end. This scripture reminds us of all the good things that can come of something new.

Question for Contemplation
What was your immediate reaction the last time you received an invitation from someone? Did you ultimately accept the invitation and how did it turn out?

Jesus, help us to be more like your disciples, ready and willing to accept the invitation to follow you. Help us to be more like you, open and inviting to all. We know that great things await us when we invite others and accept invitations ourselves. Amen

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