Monday, October 20, 2008
What is a Greater Witness
Jn 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. Jn 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jn 17:22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: Jn 17:23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
This is my own reflection of a preaching I heard last Sunday. Coming out of the service it made me wonder what is a greater witness that the church can show or make to the society that it is living in?
Can we say a greater witness is through the music that we 'present' during our worship services? It can be a witness with the way the music is played and the way the musicians are very skillful with their instruments. It can be a witness when we have singers with really good voices, who know the timings of the songs and people who sing in key. Sure, these are important considerations for witness but i have to disagree because what will make us different that what we already see and hear in the open?
Can we say a greater witness is through the programs we create? Programs are an important aspect of what we have as a church, and we do need these sort of events for some degree of where we are heading. These programs can harness vision, educate, equip, renew, rejuvenate and help the progress a sense community. But yet again other organizations also have these kind of things and they too have the same distinctions that I mentioned above. We still hit the same brick wall.
Can we say that a greater witness is the church building that we have? It can be but are we not competing with the world on this? What good is another building in the same nature of massiveness as shopping complexes or offices? If you say that the church is contributing to something important because of it's spiritual nature (in a sense it is) but still the other buildings, although they are not spiritual in nature contribute an important aspect on human life. Just think economy. So i would not agree that a building will harness a greater witness for God, that God and his church exist and are real.
To me I think a potent and real witness is one of love-how we love our brothers. Love is a mixture of baggage-I mean the word. We get so caught up in how it is understood in the world that we loose some real sense of what it means to God. Love in how we show our brothers is in the sense of family. Bearing burdens, being with each other in tough times, having a really bad argument, being happy when your family is happy (sharing happiness) and all that sense of what we go through family. Love is the thing that works around these situations and always works to bring us together. I don't really see it as minimizing all the problems but a sense of working through the ugly and helping beauty to reveal itself.
Another potent witness for the church is unity. Unity is not what we hear on TV where our politicians are telling us to be united. Unity is almost always connected with uniformity. Unity is diversity, that is together in diversity. This is something very profound but the church has yet to archive this state. But will it ever? I believe it will if we stick with that Jesus told us.
So a potent witness for the church is more of how we show how we are as community. If we have a building and a cool service, these are added stuff, not the core. If we build or work out on the core the added stuff will come.
(Another greater witness is this post here. Read and be encouraged to act.)
I have to still clarify that this is the author's (Jonathan's) own reflection. It has nothing to do with saying that the sermon was not good. Read the post again. A reflection is simply an idea that i get from a given passage or page of writing or what i have heard people say, and with that idea I simply build on my own ideas which my thinking brain thinks through. If there is anyone offended about the post, what can i do about that. Just comment. It is as easy as that. Please know that this is a discussion Hubble and not a conspiracy act. I guess I am tired of sensitive people hounding me. pant pant.
- OIL TOWN, SWK, Malaysia
- I'm a student of Theology (currently and will always be one). I'm a student of culture and a student of music as well. I guess you could say life is a never ending journey of learning. Because of that we never stop being students. Just a little something about this blog: Deconstructing The Monkey is all about being a safe space for emerging conversations