I have been arguing over the past few weeks that we live in an age of outrage and we Christians need to respond without succumbing to such relational methodology or shrinking like violets. A good response starts by consciously working on your worldview – knowing God better; knowing Christ’s salvation better; knowing the power of the Holy Spirit more. But if that is all you do, you run the risk of becoming “monkish” – retreating to think without being of benefit to the world.
God has not called us to hide in the upper room but to go as ambassadors for Christ, representing him in this outraged world. We are representatives with a mission – not to assimilate into the world but to engage with the world, calling them out to know God and be known by God; to be reconciled with him (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). This is our privilege as servants of the King!
Ed Stetzer helpfully writes:
Behind every expression of outrage in our age is real need, brokenness and destruction that our message of reconciliation through Jesus is meant to address. The age of outrage may be defined by its anger and polarisation but beneath these self-defence mechanisms are real and valid underlying questions as people try to understand their origins, identity, purpose and path in life. People have never been more engaged, busy and connected in this cultural moment; yet this flurry of activity is a thinly veiled attempt to cover a crisis of identity, purpose and belonging.
Friends, we offer a better way of doing life – the right way to do life. That way is to know and be known, to serve and be served, by Christ.
Our message as ambassadors is the Gospel. The news that Christ died for sinners like us. But here is the kicker – if we take our eyes off our own identity in Christ, we will find ourselves in the same sort of crisis.
I wonder if that is where you find yourself now? If you have no heart for the unbelievers among you the answer may be yes.
An ambivalence to sharing the Gospel or an apathy to ambassadorship cannot be our Christian lot. We must come again to the cross ourselves and find there our identity, purpose and place of belonging. We must regain or continue to cultivate a sense of compassion for the lost by remembering that we were once lost. Remembering our own salvation will spark the compassion that shapes us, changes us and sends us on mission.
As you took communion on Sunday, did you remember God’s work for you? Please also remember that this work of Christ is for your community too. When Jesus prayed for workers for the harvest, he was praying for you. We need to remember that we have soul satisfying news at our disposal and that as ambassadors, we ought to be in the business of carefully and compassionately sharing it.