Preparation: Small toy of a large animal (like an elephant, or dinosaur), either in your pocket or in a small bag or backpack.
Faith+Open: As the children start to gather, call to them and say, “I have a whole elephant in my pocket! Come and see!” As the kids gather around, ask them what they think of you having a whole elephant in your pocket. Take a few answers and then show them the toy.
Faith+Share: OK, I tricked you a little bit. I did have an elephant in my pocket, but just a toy. Sometimes this trick happens in a bigger way! For example, in Kansas there is a sign by one of the main highways that says, “Come and see the World’s biggest prairie dog!” Did you hear those three words again? “Come and See.” The prairie dog is huge, but it’s made out of concrete, it’s not real, just like the elephant. We hear things like this all the time, maybe not exactly “Come and See,” but people talking about amazing, fantastic stuff that just isn’t real, or is not as amazing as they make it seem.
Today’s Gospel story has this same thing, an amazing, fantastic, unbelievable story, and it’s not quite what it seems; but this time it’s even better than it seems. Jesus is talking to the people who will become his closest friends, his disciples. Some of them just don’t quite believe that Jesus is who he says he is. One in particular, Nathanael, says something kind of mean. He says, how can Jesus be any good at all, look where he’s from! Nothing good can come from that place. His friend, Phillip says those three words, “Come and See.” When Nathanael meets Jesus, Jesus tells Nathanael something that Jesus could not possibly know. When Nathanael hears it, he believes that Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus says, “but wait! There’s more!” If you think that was amazing, I tell you that you will see heaven opened up and the angels of God flying around me. The story just gets better, Come and See!
Faith+Prayer: Amazing God, you keep surprising us with you love and mercy. Help us to open our eyes and see the wonders of the world you made. Open our hearts so that we might love each other as you love us. Amen.
Faith+Blessing: May your eyes be opened to see all the amazing works of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.