Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 122; 145, Isaiah 11:10-16, Revelation 20:1-10, John 5:30-47
According to Mosaic Law, a lone witness was not sufficient to condemn someone of wrongdoing. Though two witnesses might still seem like a low threshold, it discouraged false accusations unless one could find a co-conspirator. That might be difficult, since a person condemned of false witness would have to suffer whatever fate they intended for the wrongly accused.
Thus when Jesus found himself before Jewish officials who demanded he validate his claim to be the Son of God, he declined to testify on his own behalf, but presented two witnesses. He claimed both his own miracles and the testimony of John the Baptist as witnesses to his status. Had this been a formal proceeding his reasoning may not have stood up in court, but for the time it allowed him to continue his ministry.
Part of the beauty of Christian community is sharing our stories of how Christ works in our lives. When we struggle with doubt, the stories of a couple faithful friends can bring us hope. And if not hope, a line pointing toward hope. In geometry, a line is defined by passing through two points. Along that line there are an infinite number of other points, but only two are necessary to make it known. Once that line of faith is established, we can keep following it for as long as we need to.
If you were called to witness on behalf of Christ, to help create that through-line for someone, could you find a second witness to support you? Together, you and the second person define a line pointing toward Christ. We can be part of countless lines. The more stories we hear, and the more times we share our own stories, the more lines of testimony we create. And the more directions those lines run, the greater chance someone has of seizing onto one.
Our testimony not only honors our God, but creates a vast, intertwined safety net of hope. Let us speak often and joyfully of the love of God. Let us pray we may provide a safe landing for those fallen into despair.
Comfort: Your story is important.
Challenge: Make a point of talking with fellow believers about your story.
Prayer: Infinite God, author of all stories, thank you for mine. Amen.
Discussion: How do you feel about sharing your faith story with friends? With acquaintances? With strangers?
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