My daughter has an amazing birth story. It involves almost being born in the car on the way to the hospital, a police escort, a stuck elevator, and a certain celebrity status that day when she came to be known as the “Elevator Baby”. After all the excitement, doctors, nurses and even some orderlies dropped by our room in the neo-natal ward, wanting to come and see the famous Elevator Baby.
“Come and see” is one of my favourite phrases in the Bible. There is so much packed into it. It’s rich with warmth, invitation and promise. I came across this phrase again in Psalm 66:5 and it got me thinking about our Alpha.100 initiative this fall. Our goal is to have 100 guests attend Alpha at Forest Brook. It’s ambitious, but as I thought more about it I was moved by this phrase, and the significance it plays in these invitations.
“Come and see” is always tied to the wonders of God – things He has done in the past which have lasting impact. Things that demonstrate God’s sovereignty, power, compassion and purpose. Things like victory over enemies (Psalm 46:8), crossing the Red Sea (Psalm 66:5), the resurrection of Jesus (Matthew 28:6), or the discovery of Messiah (John 1:46). But what I love about each of these instances is that the person who does the inviting – the person who says, “Come and see”, is someone who has experienced the wonders of God for themselves. It’s someone who has been touched by God’s mercy, grace, love and power. They are someone who knows that God exists, and that He is good. And they can’t help wanting others to know that too.
So they say to their friends, “Come and see”. Notice they don’t say, “Go and look”. Come and see is an invitation, a welcome – not a sending. It says, “Come with me – I have something to show you”. It invites the other person to join you in what you’ve already seen, experienced and know to be true. The wonderful love of God in Jesus! It’s an invitation with an hopeful expectation that once they have come, they too will see and as a result they will experience the wonders of God’s love for themselves.
They say that evangelism is simply one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread. And that’s why I love this phrase, “Come and see”. Before we can share it we have to have experienced it for ourselves! We spend time reflecting on just how good God has been to us. We remember His mercy, grace and abounding love which He has poured out on us. And then, from that place of immense gratitude we reach out our hand to someone we love and say it. It is pure love, pure welcome, pure hope.
If you’re finding it difficult to invite someone you care about to Alpha – please think about this. Remember how good God has been to you. Spend some time reflecting on that. Become filled with gratitude in the Spirit for His grace and blessing in your life. I believe that once we do that, we won’t be able to help ourselves. As we encounter other “beggars” on the road of life, it will be so natural for us to extend our hand to them and say, “Come and see what God has done, how awesome His works on our behalf!” Come with me to Alpha this September – you’ll see.
“Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!”
Psalm 66:5, NLT