One of the songs our teen choir sings at 6:00p.m. Sunday Mass is titled, Come Now is the Time to Worship. The refrain goes
Come, now is the time to worship.
Come, now is the time to give your heart.
Come, just as you are to worship.
Come, just as you are before your God. Come.
“Come just as you are” is the line that always strikes me when we sing this song. It is such a welcoming line.
It is a line I’ve used when someone who is coming to my home asks how they should dress for the occasion or whether they should bring something. No, I say, come, just as you are.
It is a line I’ve used when someone says, maybe we shouldn’t get together, I’m not feeling so social or I’m not really at the top of my game. No, come anyway, I say, come, just as you are.
When I say those words, what I’m trying to convey to the other person is: your being here is enough for me. I’m just happy to see you, to spend time with you. It is you I care about. The rest of it doesn’t really matter.
And so it is with God, except even more so. God invites us to come to spend time together. We don’t need to worry about what we wear and we don’t need to be at the top of our game. God says: I just want to be with you. Come, spend some time with me. Come, just as you are.
Come, just as you are. That’s God’s invitation, not just on Sundays, but an open invitation for any day and any time. What we do with the invitation is up to us.