Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Come and see

In tomorrow's Gospel reading, we will hear the call of Philip, who then called Nathanael:
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth." Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
It is a very quick move from Philip being called by Jesus to his inviting Nathanael. This is our task to. First, we follow Jesus and then we invite others to come and see. Here's an interesting story of invitation from Rumors:
A three-wheeled philosopher
From “The Spirituality of Grandparenting,” by Ralph Milton
Northstone, 2008, available at

Bev and I were staying at Redeemer College in Hamilton, Ontario a number of years ago. It was a beautiful day and I was sitting on a chair out on the lawn, reading. I had just decided to retire from my work as publisher, but the decision raised a batch of unnamed anxieties.

Along the sidewalk came a girl on a tricycle – about six years old was my guess. We smiled at each other. Then she stopped, gave me a most intense look and asked, “Are you old?”

I’m usually quite quick off the lip, but the child’s question stopped me cold. She waited. Maybe she knew she had asked a profoundly disturbing question. Eventually, I responded. “Yes. Yes, I am.”

Then she said, “Will you play with me?”

Were the two questions connected in her mind? They were in mine. They said to me, “If you are old, I will trust you.” For her, none of the bad jokes they throw at people on their birthdays, just: “Will you play with me?” And I wanted so much to do just that, to hear more from this three-wheeled philosopher, to learn from her wisdom and to delight in the joy of her life.

But we lived in a real world, my little friend and I. So I had to say, “I would really like to play with you, but first you need to go and talk to your mom or your dad, and if one of them comes here and tells me it’s OK, then we can play.”

“My dad doesn’t live with me anymore,” she said very soberly. “I’ll ask my mom.”

She didn’t return. But she had left her gift with me.

She had changed me from a man, fearful of retirement, angry at his age with its limitations and necessities, to a man delighting in his age and its possibilities – transfigured by the candid, open, affirming trust of a child.

“Yes, I am old. And yes, I would really like to come and play with you.”



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