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.
20 And again he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.”
I love making bread. There’s something wonderful about the process that ends with a warm loaf of bread. First I assemble all the dry and wet ingredients measuring them out, and combining them. But nothing happens until the yeast is added to the mixture creating dough. Left in a warm place to rise the dough doubles and triples in size. Kneading the dough shapes the loaves, and they continue to rise in the heat of the oven. When they’re baked and fully formed the loaves will nourish and the feed the hungry.
Jesus taught this parable using the everyday images of making bread so we would understand that God’s Kin(g)-dom would start small and then continue to grow to the ends of the earth. This happens because God calls us to be witnesses to God’s love in the world. We are each given spiritual gifts to use, and are shaped by the Spirit as we continue to grow spiritually so we can bring the Good News to feed the spiritually hungry.
As followers of Jesus, we are the individual ingredients that God brings together in community. Our baptism and invoking of the Holy Spirit can act as yeast in our lives as we begin to grow as disciples of Jesus. The witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts is the experience of the radical love and grace of God in our lives. We are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. We then become witnesses to the power and grace of God’s love in our own transformed lives. This Spirit flows through us into the world where we witness, through our words and actions, and make disciples for the transformation of the world.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Our vow to Witness is where the tire meets the road as a disciple of Jesus. Our vows of prayers, presence, gifts and service can be done in our churches, but witness means we need to leave the comfort of our churches to share God’s love with others out in the world. Being a witness means we will need to speak and act when we see others in need. As United Methodists, at our baptism we vow to “resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.” It is through the power of the Holy Spirit, that as children of God, we are given the strength to act and speak against systems of injustice, as individuals, as congregations and as United Methodists.
When have you experienced the grace and love of God in your life? Who have you shared it with and what was the result? Do you find it difficult to witness?
Prayer: Holy God, we thank you for the gift of the witness of the Spirit in our lives. Help us to be your witnesses by our words and actions to your radical grace and love in all we do. Amen.