John the Baptist had a unique ministry in the sense that he bridged the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. He was the last of a great line of Hebrew prophets. The part of his ministry that was not unique, and that we share through the power of the Holy Spirit, was his calling to be a witness of Jesus Christ.
Interestingly, the concept of “witnessing” is usually given short-change in Christian circles. In mainline churches this is often equated with living a good life and in evangelical churches with challenging others to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Obviously, both living the Gospel and challenging others to accept the Gospel are part of the total picture of what it means to be a witness.However, a problem with defining witnessing as “living a good life” is that we usually reduce this to mean living a “middle-class American life,” which is not necessarily in alignment with the teachings of the Gospel. The problem with defining witnessing as “challenging others to accept Christ” is what do we mean by accepting Christ? Do we and the people we challenge realize the consequences of accepting Christ? Does accepting Christ mean praying a prayer or does it mean accepting a person into your life who will radically change every aspect of it?
We are witnesses and every-day we have an opportunity to let the light of our faith shine through our actions. When people examine our lives: at work, with our friends, with our family, when we’re driving, when were shopping, wherever we are – do they see Jesus Christ in us?
That is the question we must reflect on every day, especially during this season of Advent (for more on witnessing click here).