A guest Post by: Christine Laporte
“We are therefore Christ’s Ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us”.
(2 Corinthians 5:20)
One of the more creative tasks I get to do at work is to create slides for our program’s Monthly Review. My boss creates the data pages and asks me to come up with some “End” slides for a little comic relief. He will give me a theme and I will search for memes and funny quote slides to pop into PowerPoint for his approval. With essential workers being a trending topic since the spring, I started looking at images / memes related to that subject. I particularly liked this saying, “Essential workers: because ‘sacrificial’ sounded too dark”.
There’s a good amount of truth to this saying, however. While others were being told to stay home, self-quarantine and tele-work; other employees and industries didn’t really have that choice. We know who those people are and continue to pray for their safety and protection from the COVID-19 virus. Until the second week in April my coworkers and I were considered “essential”. We were given an official letter permitting us to travel to and from work and we carried them with us in case we were stopped by authorities.
One morning on my way to work I looked next to me on the passenger seat and spotted the “official” letter in a plastic sheet protector and felt a sense of pride. I thought to myself, “I’m important and needed; it says so right on this letter”. But it didn’t take long before I was reminded that what makes me important and an essential part of this life is being a child of God. I am part of his family and the church of Jesus Christ. And, as part of the church, I have a role to act out that has eternal values and ramifications. As stated above in
2 Corinthians 5:20, “We are Christ’s Ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.” If we go back to the verses preceding verse 20, we read the following:
All of 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”.
( 2 Cor. 5:18-19)
There are a lot of roles for God’s children here in just these two verses. We are reconciled to God in order to minister to others with through His ministry. And how do we help others become reconciled to the Lord? We share that message with others. We are reconciled, ministers and message givers. There’s a great deal of purpose in these tasks. It is humbling to know that the Lord would trust us with such a precious ministry and job. We also read in Ephesians 2:10:
We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
A few things really jump out at me as I read this verse. The word workmanship comes from the Greek word “poiema” and means “masterpiece, poem or work of art.” Creative people, like me and many members in my family, put a significant amount of time into crafting a work of art. Whether we are writing creative literature, painting a picture or making flower arrangements, we give specific attention to details. We think of things like: theme, color, purpose, materials, process and even the receiver of our artwork. To think that our boundless God, the supreme Creator of the universe and all of its content, put His personal touches on each of us is both mind boggling and humbling.
There are two other words that grab my attention when reading Ephesians 2:10.
They are the words “prepared beforehand.”
“Interestingly, God prepared what He wanted us to do for Him long ago. He has already planned what He wants us to do with our lives. We do not need to copy [or compare] what someone else has done or is doing. He has a unique plan for each of use to serve Him in this world. This includes certain spiritual gifts and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives to lead us in service to Him.” (commentary on Eph. 2:10 from Bibleref.com)
We find our purpose and a life of fulfillment in doing what the Lord created us to do (and be). He has given each of us very specific talents, strengths, desires, and personalities to carry out divinely appointed tasks that have both temporary and eternal value. This makes us “essential.”