Monday at the Haven Café, we thought a bit more about the idea of witnessing. Locating synonyms for the word ‘witness’ offered a better understanding of how we in Christian circles are invited to witness. When Jesus returned to the disciples after his death and resurrection, his return was to flesh and blood. He was no figment of any imagination: he ate and drank with the disciples, spoke with them, walked with them. This is the kind of Christian witness we are invited into; not Bible-thumping righteousness.
One of the things I have been pondering since Easter Sunday, is how Jesus put the Word out there, healed lots of people, dined with lots of people (who by society’s standards didn’t deserve a visit), and traveled around telling about God. It makes me stop to think how complicated religion has become since the time of Christ. But, to the words, “You are witnesses,” (Lk. 24:48) our response is to perform only as Jesus. So, some of our discussion this morning was how crazy behaving like Jesus can look to the rest of the world. Taking in someone who has nowhere to live, for a time. When we feed people through volunteer organizations that feed the hungry, and we take the time to get to know the people who come for food, we are being Jesus in the flesh. Providing hope through prayer, visiting the sick and homebound, and making prayer quilts, are reminders to those who are suffering of Jesus’ healing presence.
We meandered a bit about the paths our lives take us, but we never moved far from the reality of what Jesus needs from us. We can be too quick to say, “I’m not getting involved.” Oh, we have lots of reasons: “It’s not my business, it’s too messy, I’m not sure how much time it will take, and there is a myriad of other reasons.” That, though, isn’t our job. This is, we discovered: If we keep our learning fresh, then the food we provide for the world matches the questions the world has. And, our witness helps others perceive Jesus in us; it makes us the hands and feet of Jesus providing nurturing spiritual food for an ailing world.
Where have you been an active witness?