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On Being an Ambassador for Christ in Difficult Times - A Lenten Meditation

This is a difficult time politically right now. Even though most of us in the US are descendants of immigrants we are watching as refugees from war-torn countries are being forced to leave US shores, some to return to starvation and homelessness, others to return to persecution or death due to their sexual orientation. Others turned away at our shores have jobs, homes and animals they left behind as they went to visit relatives in other countries. In addition, there are those in our midst who suffer renewed discrimination because their religion is not Christianity. How can we possibly convey the grace of God in these times to ensure that, as Paul writes “we are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way”? (I Cor 6:3) How can we then be “ambassadors for Christ” as Paul commends (5:20)? For surely, silence or failure to respond to these injustices on our part completely obstructs any view of a compassionate Christianity and would, indeed, be such obstacles.

Perhaps the key is first, we must “be reconciled to God”(5:20). I suggest this is not the reconciliation of two people shaking hands, but rather of mixing a cake. No longer round and yellow, the eggs mix with the dry and grainy flour and become reconciled- taking on a new identity. They are made new, transformed. Just as the eggs give themselves to the flour to become batter, in the same way, we lose ourselves to Love and are transformed to actually become “the righteousness of God.” (5:21) When we are reconciled to Love, all our life choices reflect the grace of God – and most definitely this means we will engage in the kind of life that prioritizes acting on behalf of “the least of these” as Jesus taught.

Obviously then, working for the realm of God “on earth as it is in heaven” is not about burning ourselves out in activism. Rather, it is about reconciling our own spirits to the bounty of God’s love. It is to wallow in the absolute certainty of God’s profound love for all of creation knowing that this Love longs to mix into us, transforming us into ambassadors whose very actions reflect the Jesus whom we claim.

Reconciliation to love leads to transformation to life. And, transformation leads to being ambassadors of Christ that always focuses on bringing about the most good, the most justice, for everyone. All in the name of Love.

***Help me, O God, to lay aside all of my fears so I can fully trust in Your Goodness and, in these troubling times of injustice, may I become an effective ambassador of Yours .

So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making (an) appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake God made (Christ) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in (Christ) we might become the righteousness of God. 6"1 As we work together, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain…. We are putting no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry…”

2 Corinthians 5:20-6:1,3 (NRSV- Inclusive)

An earlier version of this is published as “Prayerscapes” by the Pennsylvania and West Virginia Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Spr 2017

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