It is no secret that the demographics in the State of Texas have been changing. Even the small towns are reflecting the changing nature of our communities. Moreover, our children are also changing with it. Their outlook in life is different from their parents and grandparents.
Diversity is embraced in these younger generations. But one thing that will never—and should never—change is the message of the Gospel and the believers’ mandate to be God’s hands, feet and mouthpieces.
St. Paul, of course, inspired by the Holy Spirit, makes three major points in his letter to the church in Corinth: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Cor. 5:20-21
These are the three points I would like to consider:
1. We are Christ’s ambassadors
This is very crucial for our understanding of the mission of God and His strategy for expanding His kingdom. As you well know, an ambassador is one who, in essence, is sent by a leader or country to be an official representative. Thus, God sending us as His ambassadors is a big deal, and it should cause each of us to ask the question “why me.” We live in a broken world and broken lives. We are very mindful of our weaknesses. The Good News is that the God who sends us is also the God who let his power manifest in our weaknesses (2 Cor 12:9).
2. Be reconciled to God
We believe that God has reconciled us through his Son. Our reconciliation to Him is by grace and not through our efforts. I also believe, however, that the message is that when we are not reconciled to one another, we represent the message of reconciliation poorly. The Holy Spirit works through the Means of Grace – the Word in this case – and is efficacious. But when we fail to reconcile to one another, we have the potential of becoming stumbling blocks to the weak.
3. God is making his appeal through us
The angel Gabriel announced the Good News about the incarnation of Jesus and the birth of John the Baptizer. We read God revealing Himself in dreams and visions to convey His message to his servants. As I read these angelic and visionary revelations of God, I wonder why God would want to make his “appeal” through us. Many points can be made on this topic. Suffice it to say that God gives us the mandate to proclaim the message of reconciliation and exhorts us to be reconciled to one another. Be reconciled to one another!
We can find brokenness in all places: our countries of origin are broken, our communities are broken, our institutions are broken, our families are broken, and each and every one of us live broken lives that need to be reconciled with God and with one to the other. God is counting on us to be his ambassadors so that His light may shine in us and through us. This will require a life of integrity that is always ready to confess and joyfully receive the forgiveness. It sounds like what the new generation is looking for in spiritual leaders – is authentic life.
By Rev. Yohannes Mengsteab
Mission & Ministry Facilitator, Area B