I have the great delight of leading worship every month with a group of faithful people. We gather together to sing, pray, hear the Word of God, talk together about what that Word means for our lives, then pray and sing some more. Sometimes we even laugh - out loud. Sometimes we get up and dance in the aisles with joy. After the service, we sit down and have supper together. Through these monthly shared acts, a community has developed - people have come to know and love and care for each other even as together we remember how much God loves each one of us.

Our gospel lesson in January was the story of Jesus calling Philip and Nathanael to be his followers. Jesus first told Philip to follow him. Philip then went to Nathanael and told him they had found the One that the prophets had said would come - the one for whom they were all waiting - the Messiah. Nathanael was skeptical - he did not believe that the Messiah would come from Jesus’ small town of Nazareth. “Come and see”, said Philip. Nathanael did! When he met Jesus, he saw, to his great surprise, that Jesus is the Son of God! He believed - all because Philip said “come and see”.

So I asked our worship group during the sermon - What do we want people to come and see when we gather together to worship God*?  Here’s what they said: 

    • we are needed and loved
    • we have a chance to speak about God
    • we witness to God’s word…share God’s word
    • we are teaching in community 
    • we are wishing people peace in the community
    • we are caring for people
    • we can be happy
    • we get together and visit
    • we sing together
    • there is good food and friends to eat it with
    • it’s good to have other friends
    • there is community inclusion and interaction on an ecumenical level
    • we are meeting new people
    • loving God is biggest virtue and being loved by God is biggest blessing
    • everyone gets to participate

This, to me, is a good message to share with all people. We are all created in God’s image and loved by God. When we get that, we can worship with joy and love each other. Each one of us can do that. Come and see.

* This message was shared at Rejoicing Spirits, Peace Lutheran Church, Wayland, MA on January 18, 2015.