A Matter of Testimony

Bulletin for this Wednesday Lenten Evening Prayer Reflection: Bulletin-03-15-2023 Lenten SeriesYA

Let us pray:

Living Water; fill our thirsty souls. In the divine silence of our souls, help us, O Spirit Wisdom, to discern the calling of our Lord’s voice, that, with you, we may follow and do God’s will.  Amen.

I have often wondered what it must have been like for the Apostle John to lean against Jesus at the last supper and, as we are told though Celtic imagination, hear the heartbeat of God.  We are encouraged this week to meditate on the word of God – day and night it says, in the second verse of Psalm 1.  Yet I find it incredibly difficult to do this.  One of my Lenten disciplines this year was to give up my beard.  Every time I renew my shave I look into the mirror and try to meditate on the passage coming up for the next Lord’s Day – hoping that inspiration will hit: “What should I preach on this next Sunday, Lord?”

To prepare for tonight, I had to ask, “What should I preach on for this ecumenical community?”  Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, says Proverbs 3:13 for today.  Similarly, in the daily lectionary our denomination uses for today, John’s Gospel provides us with the testimony of Jesus saying, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

Yes, I have often wondered what it must have been like to hear the physical heartbeat of God, and how that would have colored my understanding of the meaning, presence, and message of the living Christ, Emmanuel among us.  Perhaps it is no wonder that John’s gospel is so unlike the synoptics.  It must have taken much longer for the Johannine community of faith to grapple with an interpretation over that first century – shifts in so many parts of the world.  Politically, spiritually for the disciples as their Rabbi is killed, spiritually for the Jewish people as the rumblings of revolution in all parts of the far-flung Roman Empire trickle back toward the center; including the revolution among the Jewish culture which culminated in 70 AD (ado domini “the year of our Lord”) – now known as CE (Common Era) – of the very center of their existence – the Temple in Jerusalem – being destroyed.

How, then, does one pass on the faith?  How do we make meaning of all of what we as later day Christians call Salvation History in light of the crossroads of faith, life, witness, stewardship, culture, and the ever-shifting winds of politics and power, presence and Spirit in this our precious earthen world?

I would suggest it is a matter of testimony.  What we believe gets passed on to the generations that follow us only as strongly as we connect relationally with real people from different and younger generations than ourselves.  Think about how you received the story of your faith.  Did it arise from your own study and interest apart from the generations before you?  Or, did someone older – perhaps wiser – maybe even someone whom you would consider filled with wisdom – share something of their story of faith, their journey to belief with you first to get you started?

In the end, it is the storytelling of our faith, within loving and trust-filled relationships, similar to what Jesus built with his disciples and by extension their families and communities, that will impact the lives of those that come after us. Let us pray the continued legacy of Rabbi Jeshua ben Joseph shines through each of us in all we do.  May our testimonies collectively be a Good Testimony, true to God’s love and God’s way in and through the world.

May all glory be unto the one who lived, died, and rose again for us; even Him who is the Christ. Amen?  May it be so.

About Scottrick

Parent ~ Pastor ~ Poet ~ Author
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