Sunday, July 20, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Theme: People of God: Ambassadors of Christ
“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 (V.20)
At the time of communal clashes in India, Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the nation addressed the Indian people through his newspaper, “My dear Hindu brothers show a Christian attitude towards your Muslim brothers”. What is the Christian - people of God- attitude in a world of divisions, clashes and tensions in home and in community?
In 2 Corinthians 5, the Apostle Paul says: We are `ambassadors for Christ’ and we are entrusted with Christ’s message of peace, God making his appeal through us. The word,` Ambassador’, was a Roman word and so was known in the Roman world.
During Apostle Paul’s time, Roman provinces were governed either by the Roman Senate or the Roman Caesar. When a province was peaceful and serene, it was ruled by the Roman Senate. But when a province was filled with conflicts and confrontations, factions and frictions, then the divisive province was governed by a personal representative of the Roman Caesar, and that personal representative was called an “ambassador.” Ambassadors were thus the personal representatives of Caesar to work with conflictive provinces. And so it was for these first Christians; they were called to be ambassadors of peace and reconciliation towards the conflicts and confrontations among them. The word, “ambassador” was not known nor used in the Old Testament or in the vocabulary of Jesus, but the Apostle Paul was a Roman citizen and so he used the Roman concept of “ambassador.” Rejection of the ambassador is tantamount to rejection of the King and calls into question the reception of the King's message.
 An ambassador is one who: l) occupies a very distinguished position; 2) he is the personal representative of the government; 3) knows the position of the government on a particular issue and then speaks the message for that government.
To be an ambassador for Jesus Christ is a great honour. It is a great privilege. As ambassadors of Jesus Christ, we are personal representatives of Christ under all situations. We speak the message of God in to a particular situation knowing the “party line”. Paul believed that the ambassador is entrusted the ministry of reconciliation (5:11-6:11). Paul's doctrine of reconciliation is from the four perspectives. Initiation by God the Father, mediation by God the Son, proclamation by Evangelist, and actualization by individuals who hear the proclaimed message and receive it by faith.
The actualization of reconciliation has even greater effects as reconciled individuals begin to live at peace with one another in the community of the people of God. Local churches thus become microcosmic examples of the ultimate eschatological shalom which will someday characterize the macrocosm of the universe when the Creator brings about new heavens and a new earth.
The people of God are called to be ambassadors of peace and reconciliation to conflictive congregations and conflictive situations and conflictive communities and homes.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, help us to be your ambassadors in all situations of life and give us your grace to be agents of reconciliation in a world torn apart by strife, violence and hatred....Amen
Thought for the Day:We, People of God – Ambassadors of Christ-called out not to maintain the statuesque but to change the situation according to the will of God. 

Rev: Vinoj Varghese, St. Peters & Hermon MTC, LONDON, UK