The theme our worship team has chosen for the season after Pentecost is “Ye Are Witnesses.” It comes from the risen Christ’s own words to his first disciples immediately before his ascension in the last chapter of Luke’s Gospel:
Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:45-49)
As Jesus had instructed, the disciples stayed together in Jerusalem after Jesus’ ascension into heaven, and ten days later on the day of Pentecost experienced the descending of Holy Spirit as “tongues of fire” (Acts 2:3). The same Spirit that had been in Jesus was now overwhelmed them and turned into “witnesses.”
We participate in the ministry of our church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witnesses. The most effective means of evangelism is personal invitation by the one whom people know. We need the transforming power of Holy Spirit so that our lives themselves become the witness to God’s unconditional love. And we need to heed the Spirit’s prompting and share with those around us the goodness of God, the peace and joy of living in grace, and the community that welcomes everyone as Jesus would welcome.
Even though the customary liturgical color in the Season after Pentecost is green, we will retain red, the color for the day of Pentecost, as the dominant color throughout the summer, in order to highlight our theme, taking cue from our denomination’s guide on worship: “Red is a color of fire, symbolizing the Holy Spirit. It is used on the Day of Pentecost and at other times when the work of the Holy Spirit is emphasized” (The UM Book of Worship, p. 226).
Indeed it is a great privilege to be called by Jesus “ye are my witnesses.” May God bless you with a great restful summer. May the Spirit lead you to many exciting opportunities of witness to Christ’s love and grace.