We are called to be ambassadors for Christ. We know that. But what might it mean in this season of COVID and change? Make no mistake, we are living in the end. If not The End, an end. Hinges in history — turning points — are tumultuous, but they are also generative. God brings new things out of the old as His kingdom advances, but the process isn’t for the faint or distracted. God’s reconciliation ministry will go on and endure, but will we go with it? Only as faithful ambassadors.
Upheaval causes panic and paralysis in many, but in others it induces reflection and revival. The former won’t contribute much to the kingdom if they’re clinging to the old, but the latter group will build as the new is revealed. I can consider only myself, as you examine yourself. The first question is, “Whose ambassador am I, in practice? What kingdom am I really representing?” Something as simple as my use of social media can give me away. Assessing my attitudes and actions will tell if my priority is “the kingdom of God and His righteousness” or something, someone, else.
Has my true ambassadorship been co-opted to advance lesser agendas? Do I stamp kingdom of God on them to give the appearance of ultimate value? In reality, doing this is serving two masters. Ambassadors of this kind of confusion will fight indignantly, but not endure beyond this end. What our ambassadorial role and kingdom commission consist of is a second question.
King Jesus provided the job description of His ambassadors plainly. In Matthew 10, He sends His disciples as a prototype of those to come: “Go preach . . . ‘the kingdom of heaven’ . . . Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give” (vv. 7, 8). This is our unique grace.
Ambassadors of the King will stand and witness before lesser kings and governors. If our reconciling task is to heal, cleanse, raise, and cast out, what of our character and disposition? “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (v. 16). This is our answer. To be less or other than wise and harmless in a time of upheaval and change — both an end and new — is to misrepresent King and kingdom. May we represent Him well and faithfully.
— Jason Overman