Thursday, May 13, 2010
For many years I have thought that "witness" is a good job description for the Church. Near the end of Luke's Gospel Jesus tells the disciples, "You are witnesses of these things." In the first chapter of Luke's Acts of the Apostles Jesus says, "You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth."
They not only witness to the facts of Jesus' public life and of his death and resurrection; they also witness to the meaning of these facts, that they are saving events. Jesus came to witness to God's unearned, saving love. Since Jesus is no longer visible in our world, he expects his followers to continue that witnessing. I do this not only as an individual but mainly as a member of a community of believers who care for each other and reach out to serve those who need us. This community also witnesses to God's unearned, saving love by the prayerful way that we worship together and preach and teach.
To carry on the witness of Jesus is a daunting job description, but it is possible because the Risen Jesus lives in his Church and shares with us his power to witness.