Hi everyone. Rob here.
One of the images that I’ve found quite helpful in my journey is found in 2 Corinthians 5:20. Paul writes:
…And he has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
An ambassador is a representative of one nation located in another nation. They are there to promote the interests of their nation, but also to help connect the two nations in various ways. The ambassador dwells in a foreign land but their identity needs to be firmly rooted in home soil so that they can present the nations needs accurately. They report home what they see and hear so that their nation can give appropriate direction to the ambassador. The ambassador carries authority as their nation’s representative but also needs humility in order to be received and trusted by the foreign nation. It also helps if the ambassador loves the nation they are in so that the idea of cooperation and reconciliation excites them.
Maybe it’s the fact that I studied political science when I was younger but this image strikes me as one that is true to my heart. My true home is the kingdom of God. It is where I belong and where my allegiance lies. I seek to extend the influence of that kingdom in this world through word, sign and deed. I report back to God what I see and hear and feel and listen for his guidance. Because my King loves this world I too seek to love what he loves. What being an ambassador tells me is that I’m not home yet but in the meantime I have a job to do, a role to fulfil in the name of the kingdom of God and the true King, Jesus Christ.
That role, according to this passage, is to be a minister of reconciliation. God’s kingdom and this world are in conflict. God’s love for this world and it’s people isn’t recognised by most. As John puts it in his gospel,
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God…(John 1:9-12)
As ambassadors of the kingdom we are to make the love of God, shown through Christ, known. Therefore, we need to know that love for ourselves. If we’re inviting people to receive Jesus and become children of God, then we need to know that we too are sons and daughters of our Father, brothers and sisters to the King. By doing so we point to the kingdom, to the new creation, to the renewal of all things and we become agents of hope in this world.
As ambassadors of God may you know that you are also his children. May you know that God’s kingdom is your true home. May you know that who you are and what you do matters immensely.
Love and peace.