“Do you feel the world is broken?” That question opens the worship song, “Is He Worthy?” Our choir has sung it on a number of occasions and if you remember, the reply to the question is, “We do.” Whether you get your news from traditional media, internet, social media, or word of mouth, you don’t have to look far to see and believe that the world is broken. Corona virus, conspiracy theories, political posturing, “we should wear masks”, “we shouldn’t wear masks”, rioting, looting, brutality, injustice, and cities burning. On my own street an angry mob gathered last Thursday night for a “meeting” to demand the HOA open the neighborhood pool for the summer! I didn’t attend (I’m not a big angry mob guy), but a neighbor told me there was name-calling and profanity…by grown adults…over a swimming pool. The world is broken, my friends, but you know that.
So what is our role and response to all this brokenness as followers of Jesus? Do we run away, keep our heads down, and wait for things to blow over? Or do we do attack, making snarky comments on social media to belittle those with whom we disagree, boasting about the superiority of own opinion, secure in our own sense of rightness? If we do, we are guilty of forgetting who we represent. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 tells us Who we represent. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 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. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
“Reconcile” means to restore friendship or harmony, to settle or resolve differences, to make compatible or consistent. God is perfect, holy, and just. The fallen world is imperfect, unholy, and unjust. So are we. So how does God restore harmony with the world, resolve differences with the world, and make His absolute holiness and justice compatible with the world? He does so in Christ. He sent His Son as a man to live a sinless life, die on a cross, take the wrath of God that our sin deserves, and in exchange gives His righteousness to those who by faith in Him repent and believe. We are to be Jesus’ representatives of reconciliation. We are ambassadors of the kingdom of God. An ambassador lives and works in one country, but their citizenship is in another. Their job is to represent their home country to their host country. In Philippians 3:20 Paul uses this picture of citizenship to describe the identity of a Christian. While we may live and work on earth, as followers of Jesus our citizenship is in heaven, and our job is to represent the kingdom of God here and now. We have the responsibility and obligation to represent our kingdom and our King well. May we be faithful representatives of Jesus. He is worthy!