My cousin Jason, and his wonderful family, have been living on a creek in the Amazon for a significant number of years. At the end of last year Jason sent me this encouragement which has stayed with me powerfully:
…you are God’s ambassadors, sent by the Spirit, with the highest calling that any created being can receive, to proclaim Christ! This is why you live in that particular street, work for that particular company, why your children go to those particular schools, why you shop where you shop…
The German word for embassy has the same meaning as the word for message – die Botschaft. (Of course the etymological path is similar in English, just not as obvious.) So ambassadors have a message to proclaim! This little linguistic nugget reminded me of Jason’s words.
This is important to me because our phase of life and mission at the moment could at times be described as mundane, it is often hard work and not quite what I imagined ‘missionary life’ was like while I was growing up reading about Christians sent to far flung corners of the globe. For us, this means the kids getting out the house before 7am for school, continuing to struggle through German language, challenging employment, periods of isolation. However, on those dark mornings and weary evenings it is important for us to remember that we are ambassadors for Christ!
This means our mission is of the highest purpose and our equipper is of the highest calibre. Like Q is always giving James Bond gadgets that come in handy at just the right moment, God has many good gifts for us to help us achieve the mission. Sometimes that might include an Aston Martin, but even when your car is not what you might want, the spiritual gifts that God gives us are vital and should not be taken for granted or neglected.
The calling goes for all Christians everywhere! When life feels tough, boring, discouraging, painful, hopeless etc. etc. then we remember on whose behalf we are living and for what purpose….we are God’s ambassadors, sent by the Spirit, to proclaim Christ!