We bear witness through our words and our deeds
REV. SAMUEL BOODLE
Published: Oct 17, 2013
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.”
– Luke 24:44-48
The hymn, “There is a Balm in Gilead”, is one of my favorites. The lyrics are as follows: “Sometimes I feel discouraged and think my work’s in vain, but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again. If you cannot preach like Peter, if you cannot pray like Paul, you can tell the love of Jesus and say he died for all.”
This hymn tells us that we are not expected to do the outstanding things which were done by great evangelist, or prominent men of the Bible. We do not need to be great evangelists in order to tell the love of Jesus. Jesus did not call us all to preach. He did not call us all to be great at praying, but he called us all to tell of his love particularly through the way we live.
Sunday past, we celebrated Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) Sunday. The women of this auxiliary arm of our church, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, through the collection of pennies, do million-dollar projects in the name of Jesus. They fund projects in numerous parts of the world, taking the gospel to people they do not know.
In the above text, prior to his ascension into heaven, Jesus reminded the disciples about things he had told them during his ministry: “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
His life and death was spoken of by Moses and the prophets. The whole Old Testament is Christological. It speaks about the coming of the Messiah, the Christ.
While speaking to them, he opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. Then, he explained the purpose of the Messiah who was to suffer, die and be raised from the grave. In him, humanity has a new hope.
He told them, “You are witnesses of these things.” As eyewitnesses, they were to proclaim this good news to the world. All of this began where it all started and ended in Jerusalem. They were charged with keeping his death and resurrection alive in the hearts and minds of the people and to pass that message down to those who would come after.
Through their witnessing and writings, we today follow in the train of the disciples. We are called to continue this proclamation. Even though we were not there to give an eyewitness account, the Holy Spirit equips us to bear witness for Christ. Through faith and the word of God, we bear witness of the resurrection account.
As his witnesses, we are not all pastors and evangelists, yet we are charged with a mission to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to those around us. We are all called to do our part.
The women of the LWML have taken up the challenge and have jumped into action. They preach Jesus Christ through the things they do and the way they live. No, they don’t preach like Peter nor do they pray like Paul. Yet they tell the story that Jesus died for all. They and we are witnesses to the world today.
We bear witness through our words and our deeds, more so through the way that we live. Jesus did not only talk. His life was an example for us today. Let us go and do likewise. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone: 426-9084 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.