By Michael Roop
A recent conversation had me thinking about home decor. Before my family moved to Gainesville and I started my new role as one the pastors at Creekside, we spent two years in Kansas City. Based on my job there, we knew we’d be leaving at the end of those two years.
When I look back on our downtown apartment, I remember that it was very sparsely decorated. Why? Because we knew KC wasn’t our permanent home, and that changed the way we thought about our time there.
We’re told repeatedly in the New Testament that this world is not our home. Peter refers to his readers as “elect exiles” and “sojourners” (1 Pet. 1:1, 2:11). Paul tells us that our citizenship is in heaven, from which we await the return of our Lord (Phil. 3:20). But we see from another of Paul’s letters that we are not sent to this foreign land without purpose.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. 2 Corinthians 5:18-20
This is a powerful metaphor in explaining the responsibilities that come with our time of exile. We are here not simply to wander aimlessly in a land that is not our home. We are with a task. To speak on behalf of our head of state, the King Jesus. To make God’s appeal through us. To bear the message of reconciliation to the world.
What if our identity as ambassadors reshaped the way we thought about everything? What if every encounter you have is an appointment arranged by our King to advance His agenda in this land? What if going to the store, or into the office, or onto another zoom call, was an event planned by our Lord to help us network with the citizens of this land? And perhaps convince some to change their citizenship?
Like any ambassador, the day will come when we will be recalled back to our home. And as glorious as that homegoing will be, we must not simply hold our breath and wait for that day. We are exiles with a mission, to make God’s appeal of reconciliation in this time and this place.
So, who will you encounter tomorrow by the King’s request?