The testimony of God’s beautiful creation is all around us these days. The maple behind the house has shifted from tinted to full autumn color, glorious against the deep blue sky. God didn’t have to create such marvels for us—they are unnecessary—but He did. He also allows other situations that are mysterious and sometimes painful.
Testimony in court
Have you ever given testimony in a court of law? I did thirty years ago when the judge in my divorce case asked me to state my name, whether I had minor children (I did), the legal grounds for divorce (irreconcilable differences), and about property division, child custody (full custody for me), and child support. My lawyer gave testimony, showing evidence of our financial agreements.
Standing in front of the judge and admitting my failure was humbling and acutely painful. I’m glad I don’t have to give testimony to all my failures, because they are already fully known.
But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. John 2:24-25 NIV
Testimony to religious experience
Four years ago, I copied the following excerpt from a reflection based on the above scripture into my journal: “…the disillusionment that comes from God brings us to the point where we see people as they really are, yet without any cynicism or any stinging and bitter criticism. Many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief, or pain, stem from the fact that we suffer from illusions… According to our thinking, everything is either delightful and good, or it is evil, malicious, and cowardly.”
Another excerpt from the same reflection: “Refusing to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering of human life. And this is how that suffering happens—if we love someone, but do not love God, we demand total perfection and righteousness from that person, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; yet we are demanding of a human being something which he or she cannot possibly give.”
Testimony as witness
As Christians, it is necessary to give testimony to our faith, to witness. This from the LCMS:
Witness is the work we have been given to do as the church scattered. We have opportunities to speak of Jesus with the people in our everyday lives who are our friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members, etc.
Outreach is the work we do as the church gathered. It is our collective effort through ministries, services, events and other activities as the church through which we invite and include others into Word and Sacrament ministry.
Witness & Outreach are distinct, but they work together so people will know of Jesus and be gathered into His Church through us.
Testimony is a noun:
- a formal written or spoken statement, especially one given in a court of law.
- evidence or proof provided by the existence or appearance of something.
- a public recounting of a religious conversion or experience.
So, it is. Necessary. Amen.
Link up with Five Minute Friday: https://fiveminutefriday.com/2022/10/20/fmf-writing-prompt-testimony/
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