In the first chapter of John’s Gospel, two of the disciples of John the Baptist express an interest in learning more from Jesus. They address him as “teacher” and it is clear that they want to spend time listening to what he has to say. They ask him where he is living. His reply is interesting. He does not give them the address or help them with directions. He issues an invitation “Come and see.”
At St. James’, we issue the same invitation when we open the doors of our church on Monday and Wednesday mornings. A group of dedicated volunteers is there to welcome visitors into our sacred space. A hot beverage and a place to warm-up is offered, along with friendly conversation and information. Equally important, however, is our directing attention beyond the wood and stone to the ways in which we are taken into the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is the place in which we meet Christ in word and sacrament, psalm and song and in the fellowship of believers. We are drawn out of our ordinary lives and begin to enter the beauty of holiness and the silence of eternity.
“Let us build a house
Where love can dwell
And all can safely live
A place where
Saints and children tell
How hearts learn to forgive
Built of hopes and dreams and visions
Rich of faith and vault of grace
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions
All are welcome in this place”
Additional volunteers are always welcome as we try to put this into practice.
Father Neil Gray