Grace To You and Peace
There are few passages in the Scriptures that have impacted me more than 2 Corinthians 5. The whole chapter is amazing as it centers on the reality of the one who seeks to follow Jesus is a “new creation.” The ultimate result of this new reality is that the follower of Jesus is called an “ambassador” and is entrusted with the “ministry of reconciliation.”
For many years I thought of this simply in terms of “evangelism.” My responsibility was to convert people. All Christ followers, Christians, had to try and win as many converts as possible. After all, this is what “fruit” is, right? If we are truly following Christ then in our wake will be many converts to the faith. The best Christians among us are those who are converting the most people.
Yet, as I continue to pursue Jesus I am coming to a clearer understanding of what Paul is getting at in this passage.
Is being an ambassador about “evangelism”?
I think so.
But what is evangelism? It is the proclamation of the good news, the “evangel.” This proclamation is me, us, anyone who follows Jesus begging those around them to “be reconciled to God.”
As read the Gospels (and the rest of the Scriptures) more, I think this looks a lot like recognizing the depths of God's love and forgiveness to us and then extending that same kind of radical love and forgiveness to others.
Perhaps that is too simplistic. Perhaps not. Perhaps what sounds simple is too hard.
This morning I was meditating on a prayer that concludes this way, “And may every place and company we are in be benefited by us.”
As I reflected on that, my mind went to immediately to 2 Corinthians 5. The call to be ambassadors, to the call to be reconciled, the giving of the ministry of reconciliation. I think to be able to say that in every place and company is benefited by us is to say that we are bringing reconciliation to those places. We are ambassadors of reconciliation. Reconciliation happens when people experience forgiveness through giving and receiving.
Are you a Christian? Would people say you're an ambassador of reconciliation? Are you extending radical grace, love, and forgiveness?
Am I? I want to be. I'm praying that I am.