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08/24/2009

Day 7: Witness

I am home! It feels good!! At the beginning of the Churchwide Assembly, Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson asks us what our witness would be at the end of this assembly. And so I think about my witness today.

And so I was sitting in the Chili's at the Minneapolis airport. An Army Master Sergent MP was sitting next to me on one side and a Lutheran pastor (imagine that?) on the other. I was able to speak both their languages. The three of us began to talk about things. They had differing views on a variety of topics. I hope I served as a witness to both of them. I hope both of them were able to see Christ. I hope both of them were able to hear the Holy Spirit speak. I hope both of them were able to know God a little better. I wonder what my witness was today?

One day, I will stand before God, in judgment, and be asked to account for my witness that occured this week. I hope my account is that I love this Church, with all that it is and all that it isn't. I will faithfully serve this church, the church that ordained me. I will speak well of this church and all the brothers and sisters of this church, regardless if we agree on any issue. I hope God hears that I love and humbly and faithfully serve this Church. I hope God hears that I love and humbly and faithfully preach and teach according to the Word of God. I hope God hears that I love and humbly and faithfully preach and teach according to the Lutheran tradition. I hope God hears that I love and humbly and faithfully follow Christ as my Savior. I hope God hears that I love and will humbly and faithfully answer the call of the Holy Spirit.

But I think the greater judgment will be the accounting of my witness from here. The evaluation of my ministry will be the accounting of my witness the next days, weeks, months and years. What is my witness now.

I am a called and ordained minister of Christ's Church. The accountability of my witness is not how I do when things are good, and things are easy, and things are warm and fuzzy. The accountability of my witness is how I do when things are not good, when things are divided, when things are at their most difficult, when things are hard and jagged. That will be the accountability of my witness. I have been called to humbly and faithfully serve in such a time as this. What will my witness be? I hope God hears that I was a humble and faithful servant. I hope God hears that I was a leader in a time when the Church needs leaders to lead. I hope God hears that I did the best I had, for this poor broken sinner, in a broken world. I hope God hears my witness. And not from me. But from the world, and from you.

Mike Poole

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