When we hear the word witness used in a religious context, we think in terms of a verb—something we do, a spiritual obligation that overwhelms us with feelings of inadequacy. But in this passage witness functions as a noun and refers to something we are. Witnesses testify to their personal knowledge, relating firsthand experience. In a courtroom, witnesses establish the facts based on what they saw. In defense of their unwavering proclamation of the death of Christ, Peter and the apostles declare, “We are witnesses to these things.” They testify to their personal experience.
Each person’s living generates unique experiences. While the disciples serve as witnesses to the death and resurrection of Jesus, Paul as a witness has his own encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus (see Acts 22:15). His experience differs but with no less transformative effect. These individuals have personally experienced the power of God to transform. Each person bears witness to his or her own encounter—the disciples do it; Paul does it; we do it. If we have come to know Christ as our Savior, we have our own experience to draw from, our own story to tell, our own encounter to testify about. Out of that personal experience we share our story.
How has Christ changed your life? How has he helped you deal with disappointment, fear, or anxiety? How has he healed hurt in your heart? How has he comforted you in grief? How has he broken the chains of addiction? How has he guided you through difficult decisions?
Start there with your personal encounter with the Savior. Then bear witness and be a witness to Christ.
Lord, I pray for an opportunity to share with someone a story of my personal encounter with you. Open the door, and give me boldness to walk through. Amen.
Whitney Simpson offers a wide-open doorway into embodied practice and awakens us to the long-held wisdom of our tradition that our bodies are sacred places where God meets us and dwells. Fully Human, Fully Divine is a true Christmas gift!”
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