Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Testimonies of the 'Saints'

An aspect of being a pastor that I appreciate most is hearing people's faith stories.  Sometimes in the midst of being a pastor, I can become distracted from what exactly we are doing.  From a trustee meeting where we discuss plumbing issues, to a church council meeting where we discuss the next big project or ministry initiative to a Bible study to explain the Word of God, it is possible to forget that what we are all really doing is living our lives, seeking God in the midst of them, and discerning what it means to live our lives for God.  

To that end, there is nothing better than someone sharing how they came to know God, how God called them toward a particular ministry, where they see God at work in their family, or in their jobs.  It is a reminder that God is in fact working in the lives of those around us.

Lillian Daniel writes: 
Many people struggle with testimony.  We don't want  to shove our faith down people's throats.  We don't want to be pushy, obnoxious, or self-righteous....  [But] testimony is calling out that you have seen light in the midst of darkness.  Testimony is telling the story about how you met God, even when you have forgotten it.  (When Spiritual, But Not Religious is not Enough, p. 21).
Telling our God-stories is important because it helps all of us remember, and reconnect to God and one another.  Behind everything is a story.  If this week's message really hit home for you, you probably have a story to tell about why.  If, rather, the message was a struggle for you, rubbed you the wrong way, there is likely a story about that.  Whether you are "on fire" or exhausted, inspired or flat--there is almost always a life story about why, and God is involved.  Sharing such stories and testimonies of experiencing God in the midst of life is among the greatest gifts we can offer one another.  In this way we inspire one another to continue along the path that leads to life.

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