The more time I spend in church the more I’ve fallen in love with testimonies. Sermons and songs are wonderful, but they don’t quite reveal as much to me as testimonies. Stories of God’s involvement in people never get old to me. It’s like listening to the Bible being retold in common, everyday, uninhibited language. What’s great is that when someone’s telling their story, when its not all polished and well-rehearsed, they’re not even thinking about the Bible, just about the story and what happened to them. Usually sometime later they make the connection.
I have yet to hear a testimony that only involved the teller. There’s always at least one other character (in addition to God) if not more. One pastor describes that additional person in a testimony as a matchmaker. Maybe making disciples is really making matches. There is an art to playing a supporting role in someone’s testimony. You may not be aware of every role you’re currently playing.
I love playing the memory game with my kids. We have Spiderman memory, Toy Story memory, Star Wars memory, and Muppets memory. Each game is similar with a stack of square cards (maybe 50) with 2 of each character. You shuffle them up and set them out in rows upside down and take turns looking for matches. At first it’s slow. No one knows where anything is. But after a few rounds everyone begins to remember what they’ve seen and make the matches. The Bible is like Israel’s memory game. There’s way more than 50 squares, but God is always reaching out to match or be united with His people. Abraham was matched with God, as was Jacob. Esau, not so matched.
So how to be matched. The good thing is that God wants to be matched with us. If it were any other way we would be toast. Being fully matched to God includes allowing matchmakers around us to help. Heaven begins when we are fully matched to God and fully matchmaking with others. Christ is revealed in this unity, or mess, you might call it. I call it church, or marriage.
The enemy or the distracter would like you to believe that you can be complete by only being matched with other people and God is not necessary. But that is hell, or the curse. We can only know each other if we know the Father.
The ultimate matchmaker, Jesus, in human form who redeemed us from the curse and left us His Holy Spirit to glue us to God and to one another.
Here’s to matchmaking.
Jared Anderson is best known for his work with New Life Church and Desperation Band. He is the writer of such modern worship favorites as “Rescue” and “Amazed.” He has since done multiple solo projects, including most recently "Live From My Church." You can connect with Jared on facebook and twitter.
Listen to his most recent album on iTunes here.