Today’s Lenten Word Meditation comes from John 5:30-47 NRSV:
30“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
31“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. 33You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 34Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. 37And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, 38and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.
39“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. 40Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 41I do not accept glory from human beings. 42But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. 43I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? 45Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”The word, testimony (marturia in Greek) means testimony, martyrdom, witness. Jesus here is speaking with the Jewish religious leaders and defending himself and his actions of healing people.
Today I sit, hold, and pray with the word, testimony. The word reminds me of my evangelical background when in my youth, we would all take turns to testify in front of others to how we were “saved”, how we changed, how God is real, and the list goes on. It was a rite of passage, and I remember vividly the emotions and the affirmations. I wonder what my testimony sounds and looks like today. My beliefs about God and Jesus have changed so much since I was a youth. Maybe the essence of my testimony is still the same. In many ways, it is telling story about ourselves and our relationship with God. Jesus had many points of testimony and many listened and most didn’t get it.
What does your testimony sound like? What story would you reveal about your faith journey?