Famous Last Words

May 27, 2022  •   Tracy Earl Welliver

bright clouds in the sky

A fun way to waste an hour or two on the internet is to Google “famous last words.” There are entire websites devoted to chronicling the last utterances of celebrities and historical figures. I think the fascination with parting words stems from the drama of a person’s final moment on earth. We want to ascribe some kind of power and significance to the last words they say, especially if they are our loved ones, because it gives us something to carry with us in our grief.

In Jesus’ case, every word he ever said had power and significance, but especially those he said before ascending into Heaven: “You will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.”

And then he was gone.

If I were one of the Apostles, I think a small anxiety attack would have commenced at that point. As much as they knew and believed that Christ was still with them, it must have felt awfully lonely standing there staring at an empty sky, with the mother of all homework assignments having just been handed down.

Stewardship is intimidating by nature. The baptismal call is an honor and a gift. But it is also a little scary bearing witness to Christ.

When we doubt ourselves, let’s return to Christ’s last words and cling to the faith he had in his Father’s love for us. He says not “you will be witnesses” but “you are witnesses.” We already have what we need. God is within us, and we take Him wherever we go.

— Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS

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