Constance Stella serves as Director of Worship, and has been part of the church staff since 1998. She and her family were among those who helped start Resurrection in 1990, when worship happened in a funeral home!
‘Were there any witnesses?’ ‘The witness saw everything that happened.’ ‘She was a witness for the prosecution.’ Courtroom drama and legal proceedings seem to be prominent in the news lately. As a kid, one of my favorite TV shows was Ironside, and many episodes were hinged in high drama on the surprise testimony of a key witness, as Raymond Burr looked on sternly from his wheelchair. (If you grew up in a post-Ironside generation, check it out in reruns on cable!) The testimony of witnesses is important in fiction and in real life drama.
“You are witnesses of these things,” Jesus told the disciples. He was, with the power of the Holy Spirit, equipping his friends and pupils to carry on, and he was revealing the path that lie ahead of them. They were to go out, to serve as witnesses. Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians, teaches that to be a witness is to see something in a new or different way. Sort of like on Ironside, when that surprise witness takes the stand and shares some trial-shattering tidbit of new information: The witness experienced something that others had not experienced, and it changed his/her perspective completely.
Is that true for you? Have you experienced something new or different as you’ve worshipped, or read scripture, or served someone in need, or enjoyed fellowship with others in our community of faith? Is your perspective different than it used to be?
It’s true that we do not get to see the flesh-and-blood Jesus, as the disciples did. But we have their witness, written down in the gospel accounts, and the witness of others from the same point in time. And Christians throughout the centuries have encountered God afresh, and witnessed to others about it in myriad ways. So here we are. It’s our turn, and it seems to me that Jesus is today—as in every age—reminding us that we are witnesses. We are to go out and do something, as witnesses for Christ who have a new perspective, who see things differently.
What is the new idea about life with Christ that’s been nudging its way into your thoughts? Or the new perspective that is getting clearer as you journey along in your faith? And how, in real and visible ways, in your words and actions, are you serving as a witness for the one who has changed you? These are the questions I’m asking myself today, and I hope they might be helpful for you, too.
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.