Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing devotions based on the United Methodist membership vows, where we pledge to support the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. This week’s focus is WITNESS.
17 When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. 18 Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”
Great things happen in community! Jesus never meant for us to go it alone. That’s why Jesus promised us the Spirit, the Comforter, that is with us every day. Our witness in the world is meant to bear fruit, to reach more people who will come to know God’s love, as we pass on God’s love to others.
Some translate verse 19, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” to “as you go make disciples of all nations.” It’s more of a ‘start where you are’ as my disciples and see where God’s Spirit will take you. Because discipleship starts with us, who model what it means to follow Christ.
Discipleship is grounded in our United Methodist baptismal vows, “to reject ,evil, injustice and oppression,” and to “serve as Christ’s representatives in the world.” As members of our congregation we promise to “faithfully participate in its ministries by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness.” As disciples of Jesus we pray with and for others, we are a quiet presence to those in need or a voice calling for justice. When we all come together and use our spiritual gifts, we nurture growing disciples at our local church and help our local communities.
All together, we are the global United Methodist Church, supported by the local churches, that gives so that United Methodist programs can feed, clothe, house, teach and seek justice to help those in need in all nations. Our gifts are literally life giving, feeding body and soul. Our service to others, as we go, right here, right now, is our witness bearing fruit. Whether you are the hands and feet of Christ in your homes, in your church community, at work or in the world, your witness makes a difference.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Jesus is calling us, all together, now! Right where you are, be my witnesses and see where God will take you. Don’t be afraid, you have the power of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit at work within you. You have a church community where you can nurture and grow, not just yourself, but others who come to know God’s love through our witness.
This is our witness as United Methodists, we are bringing God’s love to the world, making disciples, transforming the world into God’s Kin(g)-dom, here and now. Churches and disciples that don’t do what Jesus asked, die on the vine, fruitless. But loving, nurturing, disciples and churches that share God’s love, will bear much fruit for the Kin(g)-dom. Great things happen in community! All together, now!
If you want to make a difference, to know the love of God, to be a witness for Jesus, we invite you to join us, and see what God will do through you. You are important, you matter! Your church, your community, the world, needs your witness, is it bearing fruit?
Prayer: Jesus, you bless us with your love and grace. Teach us to be your community of witnesses so that we may be the love of God, making disciples that will transform the world. Amen.