Acts 1:8 You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
To be a witness requires two different actions. First, you have to see. You have to experience something. You have to take something in. But to be a witness, in the full sense of the word, requires a second step as well. You have to tell about what you have seen. You have to share with others what you have experienced. Yet here, Jesus makes it pretty clear that the particular call to witness he has for the disciples isn’t just about doing that with the people who are already a part of their community. Witnessing here requires a third step. The disciples have to move.
While the disciples are called to begin where they are – in Jerusalem – they are also being called to move beyond there home. They are called to share of what they have seen – to tell the story of what they have experienced – to share the love and grace they have been given not just at home, but as they move out into all Judea and Samaria, as they move out to the end of the earth.
My sense is that we are being called to do the same. All three steps to witnessing are important – we must see, we must tell, and we must move. To bear witness – we must see the ways God is moving in our lives and world, then we must learn to trust the Spirit to help us tell the story of what we have seen starting at home, but not staying just there. Finally, we must move outward – beyond the people and places where we are most comfortable, to reach the people to which God calls us.
I’ve been using a phrase from one of Joan Gray’s books around here as of late, “Without God we can do nothing, but with our God, anything is possible.” We can’t do any of this on our own. Yet, with the Spirit’s power I know we can answer the call God has for us. For with our God, anything is possible.
Let us be united in prayer.
Pray that we would have eyes to see God at work in our lives, in our church, in our world.
Pray that we would learn to tell the story of our faith, that we would think about the difference it has made in our lives and start to find the words to tell that story to others.
Pray that we would attune our hearts and spirits to Christ’s call.
Pray that we would trust the Spirit’s power.
Pray that we would follow that Spirit anywhere – that we would have the courage to tell the story at home, to our family and friends, and to any and all to which God calls us.