Testify, Celebrate, Lifted

Testify is a buzz word in the sect of Christianity I’ve come from. Testify, testament, testimony.. all words from the same root. As such, like many words from the same subculture, give me a slightly cringe-y feeling. Not to offend or dismiss the decade I spent in evangelistic charismatic churches. I wouldn’t even say I was burned. Not in the least. I just needed something different – a different avenue through which to practice my faith.

I still testify, just not in the ‘traditional’ or ‘pentecostal’ sense of the word. I testify when I go out in nature, when I breathe in aromas of a delicious meal or hearty wine. I testify when I create community among friends. I testify when I witness the miracle of sunrises and sunsets. I think there are different ways to testify, and all can be pleasing to God and welcoming to people.

We come to the word celebrate again. I see that this is a possible theme for Lent. With celebration usually comes the word “Alleluia” which is traditionally not sung or spoken all of Lent until Easter. Lent is a time of penance, reconciliation, somber reflection, inwardness. At least for me. Come Easter morning we will celebrate and testify to the resurrection of Jesus.

He will be lifted (see what I did there?) – banners will be raised. We’ll remember the now-dry palm fronds that graced his path in Jerusalem. Can you imagine – the King of kings and the Lord of lords riding into a holy city, the holy city, on a donkey? But he does. And a week later he’s lifted onto the cross to die a humiliating death – how could a professed king ever be killed, let alone in such a horrible and dehumanizing manner? But he is. Every year the story amazes me. Every year the power of Lent overcomes me and my soul heals and reconciles itself to God a little more.

Treasure

“Where your treasure is, there your heart is also.” Matthew 6:21

I love this verse. It’s such a simple but poignant reminder about the effects of our priorities in life.

It’s no secret that Aaron and I are huge Dave Ramsey fans. I listen to the podcast on my commute back and forth to work everyday, and Dave references this verse quite a bit. He also takes it a bit farther to say that for married couples, financial decisions are also decisions about your values and dreams.

Money has been quite a controversial topic, not only in our capitalistic society, but also in church. It’s a huge deal. I’ve heard it said that Jesus mentions money almost more than he mentions anything else in the Gospels.

We are stewards of what God has given us, whether that’s much or little, the earth or our bodies, many jobs or one job. How we approach stewardship of these things is a direct reflection in our values, and what is in our hearts.