Reliable Witness

Reliable Witness | Acts 1:6-9 | Tamika Brown

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love good police procedural tv shows. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Criminal Minds or Law & Order or CSI episodes that I have watched a million times. I will almost always sit and watch it again. Perhaps this started when I would watch Perry Mason with my grandparents? I don’t know but it’s neither here nor there. The point is, no matter the scene, setting or situation, the one thing these shows have in common is that witnesses are unreliable.

I think when it comes to being a witness, what makes us as human beings largely unreliable, is our emotions and our ego. We can get so caught up in the moment that our emotions are running us all over the place and taking the lead on what we say and even how we say it. Ego, on the other hand is when we just want to be heard. We just want somebody to know that we were on the scene. And because our humanity gets in the way – via emotion and/or ego - we become unreliable witnesses.

In the text for today the apostles are questioning Jesus. They are trying to find out about His plans. For those of you who use social media, can’t you just imagine Jesus in that meme “worry about yourself!”?? But Jesus pointedly said, it is not your job is not to worry about what I am doing next, your job is to be reliable witnesses.

How can we become reliable witnesses? I’m glad you asked.

Remove emotional bias: It is only human to be emotional. As a matter of fact, being able to express our emotions in a healthy way is truly a blessing. However, in this faith walk, we have to be oh so careful with our charge. Being a reliable witness means when we are doing God work and engaging with community, we must do as Jesus did. We must lead with love so that we do not act on our personal perspectives/feelings but call it “the Lord’s work”.

Remove ego bias: It’s a tough pill to swallow for many, but the truth is, being a reliable witness ain’t about you/us - it is about the salvific nature of Jesus the Christ. It is about walking in the promise and going out as the ecclesia, as Christ’s church, being salt and light.

Be fully present: In the text, the apostles lose focus on the miracle by worrying about things outside of their call. And listen, this is us! If we were to focus on our own call, what time would have to tell other people what they should be doing? But that’s another devotional for another day. So much of our time is spent multitasking that we are barely able to simply focus on one thing at a time. Whether in study, in worship, in prayer, in praise, in evangelism etc., in order to be a reliable witness God requires our focus.

Ascension Day/Ascension Thursday/Holy Thursday commemorates the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven 40 days after His resurrection. It is perhaps one of the greatest reminders to us that although physically absent, Christ remains ever-present. As we go about doing kingdom work, Ascension Day also reminds us to be Christ’s reliable witnesses.

Prayer: Most gracious God. Thank you for believing that we have the ability to be witnesses for you. We pray your strength and wisdom will continue to guide us as we go out into this world being whom you have called us to be. Amen.
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1 Comment

Janice Bolton - May 18th, 2023 at 10:53am