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.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1:43-51)

tiffania-story1.jpgI just got back this week from a class trip to the border. I don’t even need to tell you which border, do I? You already get a picture in your mind of a place you might have seen on the news, in movies, maybe you have even seen it in person. The US-Mexico border is a place of beauty and pain, welcome and exclusion. I heard stories, touched walls, and experienced an indomitable hope at the border.

But what good can come from the border? What’s the point? It’s a political mess. It’s a desert waste. People die crossing it every day.

Come and See.

Come and see a young man who advocates for immigration reform though his own status as a DACA recipient expires in a few months.

Come and see people who walk all day in the sun and heat just to drop off water and food so there will be No More Deaths in the Arizona desert.

Come and see the shrines in the desert made by migrants praying for a better life, for survival.

Come and see the wall, built and rebuilt over thirty or more years, that divides north from south, divides families, divides God’s creation.

Come and see the woman, held in detention for over a year, who is still waiting for her asylum case to be heard.

Come and see Mexicans, just on the other side of the wall, thriving in spite of unemployment, poverty, and injustice.          

Come and see the church, working on both sides of the border, providing food and shelter to those about to cross, drug rehab to those trapped in the cycle of addiction, and a prayer vigil every week for those who have died in the desert surrounding them.

I was part of that vigil this week. I joined with the group, saying the names of those who had died in the desert in Cochise County, Arizona, near Douglas, since 2000. We walked two blocks by the side of the road going into Mexico, holding up crosses inscribed with the names of the dead. Each person was given 3-4 crosses and called out the names written on them one by one. After each name was read, the whole group shouted, “Presente!” We were acknowledging our presence in that space and the presence of each person who had died crossing the border.

I don’t know how many crosses we held up and how many names we called out, but the vigil lasted almost two hours. After all of the names had been said, we gathered to pray. And at the end, the pastor called out, “los hombres!” Presente! “las mjueres!” Presente! “los muchachos!” Presente! “las muchachas!” Presente! “Los niños!” Presente! “las niñas!” Presente! Jesucristo! Presente! Jesucristo! Presente! Jesucristo! Presente! Jesucristo! Presente!

I saw Jesus on the border this week. Jesus met me there, and I am compelled to invite you to Come and See Jesus, too. Open your eyes to see where Jesus is working around you and where you can share the love of Jesus with others. Come and See and Share the love that you find with all those you encounter.