By Matt DeBall, coordinator of Mission Advancement Communications
“Jesus answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you hear and see.’”
Everyone has a perspective worth sharing. Each day includes opportunities to complete a survey, to share our thoughts, to tell about your experience at a particular place. If we’re choosing between multiple restaurants to visit, for example, the testimonies of others who have visited previously can be helpful for us to consider.
Throughout the history of the family of faith, testimonies have been essential. Our words can inspire others to take another look at the ordinary parts of life and find God working in extraordinary ways. We share our testimony by the words that we share but also by how we live. Indeed, our prayer is that the things that we profess with the words of our mouths are revealed through the movements of our bodies as well.
When John the Baptist was in prison, he needed fresh data to renew his hope. Yes, even the wilderness prophet who baptized Jesus—who observed his humility, saw the Holy Spirit christen him, and heard God speak with affirmation about his identity—needed additional evidence about the mission of Jesus. John sent his followers to ask Jesus directly, seeking information from the source.
Inspiring faith and community discernment, Jesus didn’t simply give an answer. He invited John’s followers to recall, discover, and ask others who had encountered him to experience how God was moving in his ministry. Jesus invited them to observe for themselves and to go back and tell John what they heard and saw.
Within the Church of the Brethren, we offer our testimony by putting our time, energy, and resources toward partnering in our shared missions and ministries. We do this because we have heard and seen for ourselves how God is working among us. Sharing our testimony in word and deed provides the opportunity for others to participate in what God is doing—not just because we’ve told them, but because they, too, have gone out and experienced God’s redeeming work for themselves. Gifts to the Advent Offering support ministries like the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Discipleship Ministries, Global Mission, Brethren Volunteer Service, and others that offer opportunities to grow in faith and offer encouragement to others.
Following the instruction of Jesus, we move forward to share of what we have heard and seen, with hope that others will be inspired to investigate, too. Everyone has a perspective worth sharing, and their testimony can restore the hope of others.
The Advent Offering highlights our passion in the Church of the Brethren to live out the holistic peace of Jesus. Unless otherwise allocated by donor preference, gifts to this offering support all Core Ministries of the denomination. Find more information and worship resources for the Advent Offering at www.brethren.org/adventoffering or give an offering today at www.brethren.org/giveoffering.
(Read this issue of eBrethren.)