Membership Vows Series - Witness
What is your life a witness to?
What can you do this week to be a witness to the truth, love, and grace of God?
“…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The word “witness” can be uncomfortable. It conjures up images of people with their eyes closed and hands in the air, handing out Bibles on street corners, yelling about how the end is coming, or knocking on doors and preaching their way of doing religion.
But Jesus spoke the words above to his disciples, claiming that to be his disciple is to be his witness in the world. So if we consider ourselves disciples, those who follow Jesus Christ, then shouldn’t we consider ourselves witnesses too?
The word witness is used in both the Old and New Testaments to to refer to someone who has a knowledge of something and can testify to the truth of it. Jesus himself asked us to be his witnesses, to testify to the truth of who he is and what he is doing in the world. While being a witness is often thought of as talking about something, as United Methodists, we believe that to be a witness is to do more than just talk. When we promise to live as Christ’s witnesses, we are promising to live lives that point people to Christ.
How we live, work, give, serve, treat others—all that we do should show people who we love. John Wesley said in a sermon once that the best way to worship and love God was to imitate God. We believe that by God’s grace we can actually do that. In other words, we are not Christ’s witnesses because we are striving for grace, but because Christ has already given us grace and we cannot help but live it out. What God has done and is doing through Jesus Christ and by the Holy Spirit in our lives and all of creation means that we are forgiven, we are saved, we are loved, and we can and should live like it!
We are called to be witnesses to the love and grace of God, and we do that not simply by talking about God, but by living in a way that reveals what God has already done in our lives and in the world. If we have the hope, peace, joy, and love of God in our lives, how can we not be witnesses for that?