Christ’s ambassadors: “Deepening the Faith” devotional 17
This installment is part of a regular devotional series, “Deepening the Faith,” written by Gordon faculty and staff for the enrichment of the wider College community.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 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 Corinthians 5:17-21
Most days my after-work routine involves settling in after a day in the office, preparing dinner and sitting down to watch the world evening news. Some days the news provides a summary of events and happens around the world. Other days, however, it seems like the world may be coming apart at the seams. Whether there are thousands of individuals fleeing harm’s way or the impacts of another natural disaster, the news can become overwhelming.
During these times, I often feel minuscule and unable to make any significant contribution to solutions—What could I possibly do? How can my small response make a difference? And being motivated by my Christian faith, what might the Lord be calling, or even requiring, me to do in response?
Thankfully, in these moments words from a text I read long ago comes back to mind. In the book Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Henry Blackaby offers a few reminders: 1) The Father is always doing his work in the world; God is orchestrating history. 2) God is a Creator-Redeemer; his work was and is to create and to redeem. 3) The Father’s desire is to involve his people in his work. And finally, 4) he is working all around us, at times right in front of us, if we will look at the world through his eyes.
Some have been called to the incredibly important work of being in the midst of some of the greatest challenges of our times. I am thankful for those who have given of themselves to live and work in some of them most difficult and dangerous places on our planet, to live among those who are suffering.
However, we must not consider that as the only way Christians are called to be present in challenges and suffering. We must look in our own communities, neighborhoods and circles of influence for people and places where we can see God doing his work, no matter where we are. What is it that God is doing right in front of you that you can join him in?
In one of his lesser known books, Gracias! A Latin American Journal, theologian Henri Nouwen journals about his time considering if he was called to live and work in Latin American. Although in the end he decides to not stay in Latin America, he does discover the power of exploring places where God is at work and how you can encounter God in those who are among you. Let us live in such a way that we see God working in others around us. Let us join in and—as Paul says to the Corinthians—live as Christ’s ambassadors, allowing God to make his appeal through us, and in doing so to be reconciled to God.
Director of the Office of Serving Learning
Greg Bish joined the Gordon College student development team in 2015 as the director of the Office of Service Learning. He leads the office in providing opportunities for students to be involved in service learning and community outreach with community-based partnerships throughout the North Shore and greater Boston area. Blending together his previous experience in student development, international relief and development, and community partnerships, Greg works to facilitate meaningful experiences for the College and the greater community that are mutually beneficial. Greg lives in Lynn, Massachusetts, and recently completed a Ph.D. in Higher Education Organizational Leadership at Azusa Pacific University.