Reading: 2nd Corinthians 5:20-21 and 6:1-10
Verse 20: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”
On this first Sunday in Lent, as we take this mostly personal journey of faith, today’s reading brings this question to my mind: Who are we inviting along in this journey? In today’s passage, Paul describes his journey and this can serve as a model for us as we seek to share Christ with others. In the first verse Paul states: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” Friends, we are all Christ’s ambassadors.
In verses 2 Paul writes of the imperative nature of this role: “Now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” For every lost soul that crossed paths with Paul and for every wayward person that crosses our path, this statement remains true. Today is the day to meet the Savior. In the rest of the passage Paul speaks mostly of his hardships, not as a way to brag or as a means to show how faithful he was, but as a way to show how God has always been with him. Paul is modeling how his faith was not a “stumbling block” to others but was instead what allowed him to live “having nothing, yet possessing everything.”
In each of these hardships Paul sought to and invites us to be servants who “commends ourselves in every way.” In other words, his faith and trust in Jesus is what he relied on and is what carried him through. In our lives, our actions usually speak louder than our words. So the question for us is this: In our times of hardship, how is the power of Jesus Christ revealed in and through us? That is how we invite others into relationship with Jesus Christ and onto this journey of faith.
Prayer: Lord God, in the good and in the bad, but especially in the hardships, may I reveal you in me to the world. Guide me to turn to you first and always, relying not on my own ability or efforts. Lead me to trust fully in you. Amen.