"You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth". "Let this be a witness between me and you."
We talk a lot about witnesses, witnessing, witness in the church and it always has that kind of churchy testimony feel about it--as if someone stands on a street corner with a sandwich board sign and preaches to the people and vehicles that don't even pause on their way to a busy life.
Yesterday, half way through a marathon stretch that included an annual synodical meeting of 2-1/2 days, a wedding rehearsal, a 40th anniversary renewal of vows party, three regular worship services, wedding, beginning of VBS and a funeral - I stopped at a stop light on my way home. Stopped and waiting, I noticed a car approaching very fast in my rear view mirror. Yep, rear ended me while I sat waiting for a light to change. I'm fine, but this is the third, yes third time I have been rear ended, all while I waited at a light or stop sign! I asked the officer if he thought I had magnets in the back bumper of my car!
While waiting for the officers to come and then to complete their report I noticed a third car a little way back of the car that had bumped into me. I didn't speak with anyone but the driver who had hit me. I later learned is was a witness who patiently waited to give her testimony to the officers; someone who saw everything unfold from way before I knew it was happening.
I am profoundly grateful for that witness. Not because I didn't think I would be believed, but because it was someone who saw what happened and shared the truth.
Jesus has left us here as witnesses: to the truth of the presence of God in the world and in our lives, as witnesses to the forgiveness that is ours through God's grace, as witnesses to the strength and power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the world. But how often we rush by others; consumed with our own agenda, our places to be and things to do. Someone you pass by may need your witness today, or tomorrow. Someone is by the side of the road of their life and you can be a witness. Who needs your testimony? Can you share your truth?
"You will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth!"