Speaking our Truth
“Then Ananias said to Paul: ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.
And now what are you waiting for?
Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’
– Acts 22:14-16
When we hear the word “witness” we often think of people going door to door trying to convince a stranger to believe what they believe, perhaps using booklets or Bible tracts. When we think of a witness in the court, we may imagine someone being sworn in to, “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help you God.” The witness on a stand is not the lawyer, providing a convincing argument. The witness on the stand is simply to tell what was seen and heard. This is what Paul was told by Ananias at his conversion when his sight was returned; “You will be his (Jesus’) witness to all people of what you have seen and heard.”
Paul was more the lawyerly type, also providing convincing arguments in his witness, and that can be extremely effective. But the command from Jesus was simply to tell what he had seen and heard. We are also called to be witnesses of what we have seen and heard God doing in our midst, in our lives, in our church. Whenever we see God at work, we are compelled to tell others about it. That is speaking our truth. Sharing the story of how God healed us, provided for our needs, protected us in life… that’s being a witness. It’s really very simple. Notice and tell someone. Be a witness.
Jesus Christ, you used your hands to heal; to lift up; to bless; to sow kindness and tenderness in desolate lives. Forgive us when we keep our hands at our sides when we could be reaching out in love. Lord Jesus Christ, you used your hands to bear the burdens of others and to feed the hungry. Forgive us when we use our hands to take care of ourselves without any thought for those who are hungry or overwhelmed with adversity. Lord Jesus Christ, open our hands and our hearts to love as you loved and to care as you cared. Lord Jesus Christ, help us to accept people as you accept them, as people made in the image of God, and precious to God. We pray this in your name. Amen