2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Pastor Chris Tweitmann
Have you ever visited an embassy?
Embassies function as extensions of the particular nation of the world they represent in a foreign country. Framed images of its national heroes adorn the walls. Furnishings and food within the building look and taste like home. Even national holidays are celebrated on schedule within its walls. The national flag soars proudly over its headquarters.
To those who are traveling abroad, the embassy of one’s country of citizenship is a place of resource and refuge. No matter where it is located, the soil on which that embassy rests belongs to the home country. It is considered the sovereign territory of the represented nation. Once on the embassy’s grounds, a person isgoverned by the laws of that country. A citizen, once inside their appropriate embassy, is ensured protection, care, and defense of the rights and privileges of their home nation.
Embassies are staffed by, among others, ambassadors. An ambassador is an agent acting on behalf of his or her government to conduct its relations with foreign nations. First, ambassadors acted only on specific missions and then in the early middle ages, Venice set up the first permanent system of resident ambassadors in foreign capitals. By the end of the eighteenth century, establishing embassies in foreign countries became a general practice.
The role of an ambassador, as an honored representative of one country to another, is a calling that goes much farther back. In fact, it is a calling which the apostle Paul associates with those who follow Jesus. In his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul explicitly refers to Christians as “ambassadors for Christ.”
This Sunday, as we close out our sermon series unpacking the vision for our future as Grace, we will zero in on Paul’s words from this letter in order to better understand not only why he makes this particular association but also what it means. Together we are going to learn that receiving the good news of the Gospel is more than a gift; it is also a commissioning. Grace, forgiveness, compassion, and full, abundant, everlasting life are not simply trophies we get to put on the shelves of our lives. These are living, active truths we are intended to embody and share with others.
Join us as we reflect on the special privileges and holy responsibility with which those in Christ have been entrusted. God Almighty, our Creator and Redeemer has appointed us, His children, to represent Him to others and in so doing, to extend His invitation to salvation – to come home. More than a command or a role, being ambassadors for His Kingdom is who God designed us to be. By extension, being ambassadors for Christ means the places and spaces we occupy are intended to become embassies – extensions of our Creator’s rule and reign.
Grace to you!