Go

writer in residence (almost) Geoff Tittyung

In the winter of 1777, the newly minted Continental army was looking to international sources to gain any advantage in their struggle for independence. Diplomat John Adams had been sent to Paris to try and encourage the French to join the war on the side of the new nation. The French diplomats, however, had taken such a dislike of Adams that negotiations had all but died. Out of desperation, leaders sent Benjamin Franklin, the ambassador to France to Paris. There, Franklin rescued the negotiations and secured French military assistance beginning in February of 1778, giving the new country the boost it needed to continue and (eventually) win its independence. Franklin’s efforts represent exactly what an ambassador is expected to do: represent the interests of their home nation with foreign countries.
 
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul refers his companions and himself as: “ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us.” We, as Christians, are more than mere citizens of the Kingdom of God, we are ambassadors. When we give our lives and allegiance to Jesus we do more than simply affirm some doctrinal statement. Too often we fall into the easy and comfortable life of living within our own ‘tribe’. We forget that we were not called to live entertaining, safe lives but to go out into the world as witnesses for Christ. We evangelicals can become remarkably un-evangelical on a practical level.

 

We are not only called out of our former sinful way of life but we are sent back out into our communities. The disciples, when reunited with the resurrected Jesus, were told, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  Our involvement with God does not stop when we walk out the doors of the sanctuary. Attending a Sunday service should be more like the starting line of the Kentucky Derby. We show up to know where we’re going and what we’re doing and then— you’re off, into the world Jesus sent us into. To think otherwise is to misrepresent the gospel we have been called to.
 

 

We are ambassadors for Christ, called to go into our families, our communities, and our world to bear witness to what we have experienced and know to be true. Our mission should, of course, inspire purity and fellowship so that we may best represent our true country but we must always remember our role: to go out as messengers to our neighbors.