If you know anything about foreign relations, you know that ambassadors are key in creating substantive relationships with other countries. The main role of an ambassador is to further the mission of their country and foster diplomacy. For example, Susan Rice, former United Nations Ambassador (you may remember her from the Benghazi scandal) played a vital role in instating sanctions (economic and trade limitations) against Iran in hopes of preventing them from using nuclear weapons which they are said to possess. In this case, she furthered part the mission of the US and UN: to keep powerful weapons out of the hands of volatile countries and maintain peace.
Similarly, the Bible says that as Christians, WE are ambassadors for Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20 reads,"19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” As ambassadors, we speak for Christ, working each and every day towards peace and the furtherance of God’s mission— spreading the message of reconciliation that JESUS SAVES.
In the US, getting a job as an ambassador isn’t easy. All ambassadors must be nominated by the President, thoroughly vetted, a process which involves performing extensive background checks, and confirmed by the US Senate. Once they get the job, they work long hours and travel often. They are said to “serve at the disposal” of the president, reporting only to the President and Secretary of State.
As Holy Ambassadors, our position is not easy either. In chapter 7 of his book, Ambassador Micah complained, “The godly people have all disappeared; not one honest person is left on the earth. They are all murderers, setting traps even for their own brothers. 3 Both their hands are equally skilled at doing evil! Officials and judges alike demand bribes. The people with influence get what they want, and together they scheme to twist justice” (Micah 7:2-3). As I imagine a US Ambassador would sometimes become frustrated with bureaucracy and with the fact that all of their hard work and long meetings with political officials is not creating substantive change in the relationships among countries, we Holy Ambassadors sometimes become frustrated as well. Like Micah, we may grown weary, thinking that no one wants to do God’s will and that the people we are seeking to reach do not seem to be growing in their relationship with or desire for God.
Nevertheless, we need to remember where our power comes from. It is not from the President or the Senate, it is from God himself. We serve at His disposal. We have been nominated by God (The Lord is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9), vetted by Jesus Christ (I know he’s taken you through some tough trials), and confirmed by the Holy Spirit (a sign of God’s gift within us)! We do not answer to the President or the Secretary of State, we answer to the Creator of the Universe! We are literally new people, no longer partaking in the reckless, unsafe, careless, ungodly habits that we once partook in; no longer looking at “others from a human point of view” or thinking “of Christ merely from a human point of view” and as such we have to share our individual stories showing that “The old life is gone; a new life [in Christ Jesus] has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:16, 17).
I once heard someone say: You may be the only glimpse of God that someone ever sees, so act accordingly! We should act as if we are ambassadors. 2 Corinthians 5:13-14 says, “13 If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. 14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us.” Even when we think that others think we are crazy, too optimistic, too trusting that God will provide, or too radical, we have to act like ambassadors in the way, we walk, talk, sing, and most of all think. I’m sure a US ambassador would not walk into a UN meeting without a suit on, so we shouldn’t walk around without the love of God in our hearts and a praise on our lips.
So I charge you to think consciously about your role as a holy ambassador. Remember that god wants to use you to speak for Him, if you will just let Him. I can say that I haven’t always allowed Him to use me. I’ve let fear and social stigmas get in the way, but this reading in combination with the message preached in church on Sunday really opened my eyes. I know that if you allow God to use you he will give you the words to say to a friend in need and the scripture to read to a family member seeking comfort.
“19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19)
Merciful Mondays: Jael
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:31