We are coming out of a truly wonderful worship series that we called “We Are Manchester.” Over these past few weeks, we have heard from so many different people and celebrated so many different ministries! In fact a long-time member stopped me last Sunday to say that the sermons of this series should be somehow grouped together and offered to people looking for a church home, since they paint such a vivid picture of who this congregation is and why we do what we do. What a great idea!
As we continue to ride on the energy of that series, our next series will hopefully be the perfect compliment. It is going to be called “This Is My Story: Giving Witness to Christ in the World.” This series will focus on how we each share our faith story in the world around us, offering our witness to what God is doing in our lives. Having spent the last month celebrating our congregation, who we are and what we do, we might think of this next series as exploring how each of us can invite others to be a part of the remarkable things going on here.
How we talk about our faith matters. One of our membership vows is to participate in the ministries of the church by our witness, meaning our testimony, our faith story. This series will think about the importance of sharing our faith story and offer some practical tips to help people develop that skill.
Spoiler alert: it isn’t as hard as you may think it is!
We will start by focusing on the passage of Scripture known as “The Great Commission.” Matthew 28 represents the final words of Jesus to his disciples, after his resurrection and before his ascension. It is referred to as a “commission” because it is a command to act. In this case it is a command to go into the world, to baptize, and to teach others about the love of Jesus.
It is interesting to me that another definition of “commission” in the Merriam-Webster is “authority to act for, in behalf of, or in place of another.” Now, that is something worth thinking about! What if we think about “The Great Commission” as a charge to act on behalf of Jesus? Would this passage maybe become less a rallying cry for conversion of people and more an invitation to be present in the world with the same grace, peace, and love with which Jesus conducted himself?
As the old hymn says, “This is my story! This is my song! Praising my Savior all the day long!” I’ll see y’all in church!