“Hair-on-Fire Christian Witness”
As the third of the great Church Festivals – Pentecost – approaches on June 9, our hearts turn in the direction of Christian witnessing as prompted and empowered by the Holy Spirit. On that first Pentecost, the disciples/apostles were topped with “flames” and enabled to speak the “wonders of God” in the various languages of the Jewish pilgrims. Prior to that day, the Lord instructed them to go to Jerusalem and wait “for power from on high,” (Acts 2 and Luke 24).
So, God calls us to first “wait on the Lord,” Psalm 27, for the opportunity and the power to witness.
I was asked to share a personal story of witnessing. Bear with me, for it goes way back as Jo Ann and I waited on the Lord:
College days. I was working 3-11 at Christ Hospital. Sister Ruth just finished pre-med. The call for VBS volunteers at Hope Lutheran was heard by her. “Ray, let’s do it together.” Ruth is persistent, so sleepily at first I answered the call. The young ones opened my eyes with their prayerful faith.
- New ministry and home (technically “used” home) on Sherwood Road in Williamston, Michigan. Great neighbors with two kids. Dad worked nights at GM, so the neighbor boys would come over and play with our kids and us. We helped out our neighbors like we try to. Sometimes the boys ate with us, so they prayed with us. VBS came around. We invited them. They came, and were baptized and, later, confirmed in the Christian faith. They are dear friends today.
My point is that God provided the connect as I/we waited on the Lord. Power came from on high in prayer and devotion and helping our neighbors day by day. Sounds kind of boring, but as I recall this, my hair may not be on fire, but my heart truly feels kind of warm – in God’s grace and presence and power and love.