The What and Who of Meandering About

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Witnesses?

Sunday, July 10 we will be discussing what it means to be a witness.  This is in response to questions we received at the beginning of the summer...
How can I help those I care about discover faith without pressuring them?
How can I best be a light to others?
How can I reach out to my friends?

In preparation, it may be helpful for us to think about these questions and passages of Scripture.
What does it mean to be a witness?  What are you a witness to?
What does it mean to "discover faith"?  Why is that important?
Is there a mandate to be a witness to others?

The following is found in the story of the Woman at the Well in John 4.
"Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 'Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ ?' They came out of the town and made their way toward him...Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, 'He told me everything I ever did.' So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, 'We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world' " (John 4:28-30; 39-42 NRSV, emphasis added).

And this is from the story of shephard's visit to Mary and Joseph following the birth of Jesus.
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.' When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told" (Luke 2:8-20 NRSV, emphasis added).

What do these passages say about witness?
What does it mean to you that some of the first recorded witnesses are a Samaritan woman and shepherds?

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