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Witnessing Can Be the Very Hardest Thing

As a kid, I remember a particular Sunday where our normally sedate and kind Lutheran Pastor got seriously fired up in the pulpit.  He was righteously angry at a dead congregation.  We'd go through the liturgy by memory, up, down, kneel, stand, sit recite, think about lunch...  I liked the children's sermon and usually his sermonette, which was about 10 minutes.  I liked when the acolyte would put out the candles (I like the smell) and the benediction, Numbers 6:24-26.  Normally, I wrote notes on the bulletin to my friends sitting beside me and stared out the window at the apartment where a boy I liked lived, perhaps to catch a glimpse of him.  He was most definitely not in church.

Dead Church
But I digress, back to the sermon.  This day our Pastor was furious because he was doing everything.  Everything he was supposed to do as a Lutheran Pastor and we, the dead congregation, let him.  We let him visit every sick person in the hospital.  We let him have his Wednesday night service with ten people (out of 500 registered members).  We let him lead a Bible Study with five people.  We let him counsel everyone.  We let him lead and plan the youth group.  We let him do it all, after all, that's what we paid him for right?  That was his job.  It was our job to give a few buck in the offering plate, mouth the words to the hymns, and to show up and recite monotone responses to the liturgy.

On this day, we got an earful.  I will never forget it.  To this point, I thought being a Christian was about going to church.  My Daddy, made sure that we went every Sunday, so I thought I was pretty good.  I learned that day it was my job to tell people about Christ, it was my job to study the Bible, it was my job to visit the sick, it was my job to stop being a pew sitter and DO something.

I was horrified at the thought of witnessing.  How embarrassing!  How could I ever ever possibly put myself out there so much and perhaps have people not like me?  You see, I was not Born Again.  I had been raised in the church, I had been baptized and confirmed but I did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I could not witness if I was not sure myself.  I did not like opening myself up to rejection and ridicule.  I'd only ever seen one person on fire for the Lord and I now realize that she was mentally ill so I did not want to be a crazy Jesus Freak.

The Holy Spirit Gives us Fire
In the end, once I was baptized with the Holy Spirit, I became an on fire witness for Christ.  Nothing was going to shut me up about this Jesus, this Savior, this Salvation and Life.  Nothing.

So I would ask you today, are you witnessing?  Are you telling people about the Lord?  If not, why?
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1 comment :

  1. Thank you for sharing this story. I struggle sometimes in this area for some of the reasons you mention, but I'm not what I once was.

    ReplyDelete


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