Faith Weekly: Get a witness?

What images come to mind when you hear the words “witness” or “testify”? Maybe courtroom scenes or news reports of trials or Congressional hearings.

I’ll admit that my mind leaps to a couple of great songs – Marvin Gaye’s “Can I get a Witness” and The Greg Kihn Band’s “Testify.”

But how about in a religious context, a Christian context?

There’s some witnessing and testimony going on in this Sunday Gospel reading (John 1:29-42). No theological discourse, just John the Baptist pointing to Jesus and telling what he saw, making a claim, an identification – maybe like a witness on the stand in a courtroom at that climatic moment when they point their finger and identify the defendant as the one who did it.

Writing in the latest issue of the Christian Century, Methodist pastor and professor William Willimon noted this about that passage from John:

“John’s testimonials are lacking in content and repetitious: ‘Look! The Lamb of God!’ Yet on the basis of his witness two of his followers become Jesus’ first disciples. Having seen, John tesified so that other might see. Later, when inquirers ask Jesus what he’s up to, Jesus says simply, ‘Come and see.’”

This week’s reading from John gives us an opportunity to consider how we testify as to who Jesus is. What do we say about Jesus? And, no less important, how does what we do – both individually and as a faith community — point to Jesus as the son of God?

See you on Sunday,

Pastor Mark