Witness: Sharing the Story

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Section 1: Opening Prayer

Let us pray. Draw your church together, O God, into one great company of disciples, together following our teacher Jesus Christ into every walk of life, together serving in Christ’s mission to the world, and together witnessing to your love wherever you will send us; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Section 2: Story

One of the most powerful ways to hear a Bible story is to listen to a gifted storyteller proclaim the good news. Use this link to listen to John Walsh tell the story of the Woman at the well. Once you get to the site, click on “See the Story Told” to watch the video.

Section 3: Message

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus instructs us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:19-20, NRSV)

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit rushes in like a violent wind and all of the disciples “were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.” (Acts 2:4-6, NRSV)

In our baptismal service, we are “sealed by the holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever” and then the newly baptized is given a candle and we say, “Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”

As children of God, we are called to share the good news of God’s love for the world in Jesus Christ. In the waters of baptism, we are claimed as God’s children and given the gift of the Holy Spirit. Like those disciples on the Day of Pentecost, we are able to speak the language of the people around us. You may not speak the language of the Parthians, the Medes or the Elamites, but you might speak the language of texting, or the language of the football team, or the language of the math team, or the language of your family. Those languages allow you to do just what the disciples did on the day of Pentecost and proclaim the story of God’s love for the world in a way that the hearer can easily understand.

What unique cultural language do you speak that would allow you to share the story of God’s love for the world?

Christians have been singing the hymn, “I Love to Tell the Story” for years, but how many people do you know that really love to share the story of Jesus with others? What do you think makes sharing the story of Jesus so difficult for some people? What would make it easier for you or someone else to tell the story of Jesus? Comment below with your answers.

Some people doubt that their words or actions can make a difference. Take a look at this video and see what an impact one person and a well told story can make on the people around you.

Sharing the story of God’s love for the world can be done in a variety of ways. Some people use words. Some people witness through their compassion and caring. Some people write. Some people express God’s story through art. Think about your gifts and interests. How might you share the story of God’s love this week using those gifts and interests? Talk to your Pastor about how you might put that idea into action.

Section 4: Learn and Engage

– What are 3 things you learned?
– What is 1 question you still have?
– What part of the lesson did you most identify with?
– What part of the lesson was hardest for you?
– Where have you seen God this week?

Section 5: Closing Prayer

Let us pray. By your word, eternal God, your creation sprang forth, and we were given the breath of life. By your word, eternal God, death is overcome, Christ is raised from the tomb, and we are given new life in the power of your Spirit. May we boldly proclaim this good news in our words and our deeds, rejoicing always in your powerful presence; through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. Amen.

Opening and Closing Prayers, plus quotations from Baptismal service from Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2014 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #25165.