In Northern German historic homes you see sometimes an inscription over the entrance: Christ is the unseen guest in this house. This is very moving to see, that people actually carved those words into the wooden frame of the entrance door. It tells you something about the spiritual perspective of the inhabitants, doesn't it?
Entering and exiting is also important in texts. How does someone enter into a narrative? How does someone leave?
I have started a project to think more deeply about the Christ, this supreme power that fills the Bible and is behind all the healing happening in Jesus' time - and before and after. Lets see how Jesus enters the scene - and how he leaves it. You will discover a friend.
The very first words we hear from Jesus are "Come and see". (John 1: 39). It is a reply to two men how have heard from John the Baptist that Jesus is the Messiah, the promised Saviour of the world. And what a Saviour! I find it humbling that the first words are a response, not the initiative. Jesus, I am reading in these last words, was foremost an outstanding listener, and the beginning of this gospel hints at this important quality. It is meeting a need - and even the need to understand where he is staying - right from the outset.
The gospel of John is unlike the other - its focus is a look into the soul and heart of the Christ. It has a very special atmosphere, you might call it also ambience, that emits the warmth of Love. Compared to the other gospels, only a few healings are reported, all in all seven reports of what the Bible calls miracles - including turning water into wine - but they are reported in so much detail, explanation and depth that one learns a lot about the Christ, God's communication of power and love with humanity. The gospel of John gives for each opposing narrative to the true status of man as God's dignified and valued man an example, in such a way, that we find ourselves in these reports and move forward. I wonder whether "come and see" echoes Jesus' first hand knowledge of the Psalms telling us to "Come and see the works of God." (Psalms 66: 5)
What a simple invitation to simply get moving and see for ourselves, too. "Come and see" has morphed into something like a daily reminder to not stay where I seem to be at a certain point but to move and see for myself, that is to experience for myself, where the Christ is - this power of God active in our life and experience, ready to stand by us, with us, for us.
When you read through the gospel of John and finally reach the final chapter to catch Jesus' last words, you will find them equally to the point. They are a call, an assignment, and an invitation at the same time. The words are "follow thou me." (John 21: 22) I am hearing the echo of the famous 23rd Psalm here: "Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23: 6) We follow the lead of goodness, fairness, peace and we are being followed by goodness and mercy every day. "Follow thou me."
Someone said that Jesus spent his entire life making people happy. We all can certainly know how special a day of "come and see" feels and plays out in our experience. A day of expressing Christlike qualities, of "coming and seeing" for ourselves and caring deeply about humanity's needs, so much so, that our own needs pale in comparison and are being met abundantly by divine Love itself. Love applauds unselfishness without exception. The Christ says: "Come and see" - and be healed. So between "come and see" and "follow thou me" is enough space for a whole life to unfold, and this life is here today - with a safe, beautiful frame to embrace infinite good. The Christ is the unseen guest and your eternal friend. Come and see --- and follow.
Here is a report about the practical application of the Christ power. Ursula Mueller certainly "came and saw" and experienced a healing of cancer. She is a close friend and I am deeply grateful for her healing - and for our friendship.
Who is writing?
In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.