We are now in the heart of fall. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are just starting to change, and at church, things are just starting to warm up! We now have a couple of Sunday school classes going, work on the basement flooding repairs under way, and many other exciting things to celebrate. We are tentatively planning our annual harvest dinner for Sunday, October 27th after worship, so long as basement repairs are far enough along. That same day in worship we will also be celebrating the baptism of Hannah Elizabeth McDanel, daughter of Heather and Josh McDanel. Along with the blessing of a new members class in October,
it is always exciting to receive new life into the body of Christ’s church! Sunday, October 13th will be the kick-off of a new sermon series on discovering and sharing your story. Another way of understanding your “faith story” is knowing your testimony: how you came to faith, what has impacted your journey over the years, times of both great joy and sorrow, and how the Lord worked through those times. It is not always our natural inclination to think or talk about these kinds of things, but they are extremely important. To know where you are going (or where you should be going) in your faith, you have to know where you came from. It is not always as simple as “I’ve been a member of this church all my life and I haven’t known anything different”, but it also is not rocket science.
Understanding and discovering your testimony can help you define and deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ. I think of the many healing stories of Jesus from the Gospels such as Mark 5, where Jesus exorcises a demon and says in verse 19: “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” I also think of John 4:39-42 after Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman: “Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I have ever done.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
We all have a story to share. The Samaritan woman brought many others to believe in the Messiah because of her story. It was such a dramatic and pivotal moment in her life, that she could not stop talking about Jesus even when it was very counter-cultural to do so! Our faith is (or should be) no different than anything else we love in life- family, friends, activities, etc. When you love your grandchildren, you cannot talk enough about them. When you love a hobby, you want everyone to love that hobby as much as you do.
The same can be said for our love for the Lord. We may not verbalize it very well, but my hope and prayer is that through this sermon series, we would all learn together how we can start sharing our testimonies. Just remember, if it was not for the faith of someone else in your life, whether it be a pastor, parent, or friend- you also would not know Jesus Christ the way you know Him today.