Thoughts from the desk of The Rev. Dr. Marcus Stallworth

Be a Witness!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

We have celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ and rejoiced during our INDIVIDUAL and PERSONAL moments of epiphany – the moment we knew literally, that God gave His only begotten Son to redeem us – Jew, Gentile, male, female, black, white, you and me. That moment in our lives when we first felt the spirit of Jesus and we first believed. That moment, when there is no longer doubt in our minds that we are connected to something wonderful, something magnificent, something real, something full of grace and full of mercy! That “Aldersgate” moment. That moment when our heart was warmed with the Spirit of the Lord! That moment when we know we are loved, unconditionally!

Now, we enter a season of praise, thanksgiving and witness to the grace and mercy we have come to know as Jesus – pure and simple!

I’m reminded of John the Baptist’s testimony and witness when he saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!… Then, John the Baptist gives testimony, after baptizing Jesus in the Jordan River, that he saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. John The Baptist testifies that Jesus is God’s Chosen One.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” – John 1:29-34 NIV

During this season of “Ordinary Time” in our Christian Calendar year – (The season right after Advent, Christmas and Epiphany and before Lent), the life of John the Baptist is example of how we too are to give “witness” and “testimony” as to the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

John The Baptist was a forerunner of the Good News that, Jesus Saves!

As Christians, it is important to share our stories with believers and non-believers of how Jesus is making a difference in our lives.

During this time of respite from in-person worship, it is my prayer that you will use this time to reflect over your relationship with Christ. Think about all the ways that God (Father, Son and Spirit) is making a difference in your life. After sincere reflection, be like John The Baptist by witnessing, testifying and sharing the “GOOD NEWS” of Jesus Christ!

God Is With Us!

Pastor Marcus