As we continue our great adventure of discipleship in 2020, we are now entering, in our study, another significant part of the journey—Witness Living! Witness living is heeding the call of Jesus to use our lives to share His good news with other people. (Luke 24:48)
In our heads we all know this is something we “should be doing.” But, Oh! how it has a way of striking fear into our hearts. Our knees shake! Our foreheads bead with sweat! And we may back pedal to Joppa with a hundred excuses as to why we are not qualified; not worthy; not able. Why someone else is better suited for the job. Like Moses we say, “Lord, I can’t talk! Send Aaron!” Like Gideon we say, “I’m too insignificant!” Like Jeremiah we say, “I’m too young!” Or like Abraham, “I’m too old!”
In reality, we are all called to share the gospel with others. And for the sake of clarity, “all” means you and it means me. As a pastor it’s often said that I am “in the ministry.” That’s true. But here is something that’s more true: because of where God has strategically placed you, you will reach people I can’t and in ways I will never be able to as a pastor. Now, that doesn’t let me off the hook. But we are all in the ministry. We are all called to the mission of sharing the gospel.
Being called to share the gospel with others is one thing. Being equipped to do it is another. Being told what we should do without being taught how to do it may lead only to guilt and frustration. Enter the 9 Arts! The 9 Arts are 9 basic Biblical disciplines or practices we can implement in our witness that can help us make Jesus accessible to those we interact with in our everyday lives.
This past Sunday, Pastor Jay introduced us to the first of the 9 Arts: Noticing. Following the example of Jesus, caring for others as Jesus did often begins with noticing them. Not just seeing people in the masses, but taking time to see them as individuals bearing the image of God. When we notice them in this way, we take time to notice other things about them too. We notice where they are going, what they are doing; whether they appear lonely, sad, angry, or fearful. And these observations matter to us. Why? Because they matter to Jesus!
At first you might be thinking that this time of social distancing makes carrying out this assignment very difficult. Maybe. On the other hand, you might find the opposite to be true. You may discover that people will be all the more desirous of others noticing their condition. I don’t know what you will notice about others this week, but that’s part of the adventure! Let’s live the adventure this week with what we notice!
Payer: Lord, open my eyes this week that I might open my heart to others.