"And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see." [John 1:46]
[Our parish is being encouraged to read the Gospel of Jon during the Pentecostarion period. If we read 1/2 chapter a day plus the remainder (about 2 chapters) the day before Ascension, we will finish in forty days. On Bright Monday, the suggested reading is John 1:1-28, on Tuesday the rest of the chapter (John 1:29-51)]
The following is a prayerful meditation on some part of the "assigned" reading. REMEMBER - read the scripture to apply it to yourself. This is all important. There may be parts you do not understand, but there will always be something that touches your heart if you read it prayerfully.
If you have comments about this verse or another in this selection (John 1:29-51), please add them in the comments, or email them to me.
"Come and see." This is the way to live your life, always with obedience and expectation. Our faith is one of experience. We "come and see" by the way we live and the Lord shows us. There are two ways to "Come and See": one is the way of the unbeliever and the other that of the Christian. The unbeliever does something to change his unbelief into belief - he is not sure what he will "see". The Christian knows that God always will act with grace in his life, and that he will always see this, as long as his sins and passions (and not because God has "failed" to act) do not obscure his vision.
How many times have our sins, passions, doubts kept us from "Coming and seeing"?
There are a lot of demoralizing things that happen in the pastoral ministry (if the pastor is a sinful man). Many times I have been spiritually tired and not wanted to do something, and not as many times, but still a large number of times I have done it anyway, and I have expected something to happen that would be good for my soul or of some benefit to someone. This is to "come and see".
I apply this dictum to prayer for others. Sometimes I see no results for an extended period of time. The Lord expects me to expect results, and continue to pray (there are all kinds of Scripture that state this, do you know some of them?) - this is to "come and see". Do you pray daily (and not just one little "Lord have mercy") for your loved ones and those whom your heart breaks when you think of them? A good practical way to accomplish this is to pray the Jesus prayer a set number of times (like 10, 50 or 100 - whatever is convenient for your prayer rope) for them every day: "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on Seraphim". Do not listen to the distracting or even negative and sad thoughts. To listen to them is to not come and to never see.
I always (well probably not always!) had this attitude in regard to the services. Sometimes I am tired and want to "be a parishioner" (not go to church) but of course I go and on most days I go with expectation, and I have never been disappointed. Something ALWAYS happens.
I am convinced that every encounter in our life will teach us something, strengthen us, open us up to receiving and keeping close to our soul grace, if we always encounter everything with an attitude of "Come and see."
Priest Seraphim Holland 2013 St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas
This article is at:
New Journal entries, homilies, etc. are on our BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime
Journal Archive: http://www.orthodox.net/journal
Blog posts & local parish news are posted to our email list. Go to here: http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church to join.
Redeeming the Time BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime
Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL of the article. This content belongs to the author. We would love to hear from you with comments! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
 Let's be honest. For a lot of people, church services are a gentle suggestion, and can be overridden by the smallest obstacles, or sometimes, by no obstacle at all. Maybe I am not that nice by saying "be a parishioner" when I mean to not go to church, but for too many that my pastoral soul prays for, the shoe fits. I am a great sinner, but I have always considered the services to be an absolute requirement - not because of a command of God, or my pastor, but because my soul is starving for grace, and grace is abundant in our theology and worship. It is impossible to make progress in the spiritual life if we do not force ourselves to do things that are good.