The first day of school brings a cacophony of sounds - humming engines of school buses; children laughing, yelling, crying; moms laughing, yelling, crying; and Donna’s loud cheerful greetings.
Donna is my neighbor, my friend, and part of our neighborhood Bible study. One day, Donna announced that she just got her dream job - the crossing guard at our local elementary school, the school she attended as a child. I just love that of all the jobs in all the word, this was her dream. Through heat waves, cold spells, rain, hail, sleet and snow, and beautiful days too, Donna mans her post with a smile.
But she is more than a crossing guard. She is our neighborhood’s ambassador for Christ. Her focus is not just the physical safety of the children. Week after week, Donna brought prayer requests to our study group. Often she brought a friend, sometimes a parent she met at her post. If a neighbor was sick, she spread the news so that we could provide assistance. She could just focus on the required elements of her job, but instead she sees beyond the physical to the spiritual needs.
What is an ambassador?
"An authorized messenger or representative. Often, a diplomatic official, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative."
An ambassador is someone who lives in a place other than his or her true home and serves to represent that true home to others. Ambassadors must live in foreign, maybe hostile, environments and convey the virtues of their native land, encouraging others to travel there, to invest/trade there, to move there. As Christians, our home is the kingdom of heaven. We are to encourage others to make the kingdom their home as well. We must represent the kingdom in a way that draws people unto our King.
“We are therefore Christ's ambassadors...” 2 Cor. 5:20
Perhaps we assume that it is someone else’s job to be an ambassador. A minister or a Sunday School teacher or a traveling evangelist. Someone better equipped to handle God’s Word. But in this paragraph, Paul says “if ANYone is in Christ, he is a new creation. … WE are Christ’s ambassadors, God is making his appeal through US.” Through you and me. If God can use a donkey and a crossing guard, I have to believe He can use me, and you too. We don’t need to preach a sermon. We just need to share our experience. “All I know is this - once I was blind, now I see.”
I am a Christian today because someone was His ambassador to me. Is there someone you can bring God’s grace to?