Scripture Reading: Acts 1:6-14
So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But 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 ends of the earth.’ When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’ –Acts 1:6-11
What does Jesus mean when he says we are to be his witness? A witness, in general, is one that gives evidence regarding matters of fact under inquiry*. I have testified in court as an eyewitness reporting what I observed directly and as what is called an expert witness as one with knowledge of a subject pertinent to the case. Child abuse and neglect were the subjects about which I provided information. It is rare for two people to report the exact information about an event that leads to a court hearing. As objective as we try to be, we all take in information based on our histories and understandings. Judges and juries make decisions based on the collective information presented to them.
The same is true of people trying to understand this man call Jesus and his impact on the lives he touched in first century Judea and Galilee, throughout subsequent history, and the lives he touches today. Particularly in the USA, most people possess some knowing about Jesus, so we rarely have the opportunity to share our witness about Jesus to someone who has never even heard of him. In some instances, existing ideas are positive in others negative. I believe in most cases our actions speak louder than our words. If we talk about love and live out enmity, we send a double message. The only solution is to become an expert witness through our love, and that takes a lot of study and a lot of practice.
1 John 3:18-20 states it this way:
Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth and will reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
Prayer: Teach me to love like you. Amen.