We Are: Ambassadors of Jesus
The year was 490 BCE, and the Persian empire was bearing down upon the Athenian army.
Their fate uncertain, a messenger called Pheidippides was sent from marathon to Sparta, another Grecian city-state, in the hopes that they would render aid. This was a distance of about 150 miles each way, and in the famous poem bearing the messenger's name, was described as a "two day and two night" journey.
Sparta, full of mistrust, said they'd think about it, sending Pheidippides back to Marathon with little hope of victory. The messenger was then given a sword, helped to defeat the Persians, and then, as his reward, was given the privilege of running the 21.4 miles to Athens, where he declared victory as his last act
"Joy in his blood bursting his heart, he died - the bliss!"
Nineteenth-century poet Robert Browning's account is a composite story, consisting of legend and ancient accounts of what actually happened at the Battle of Marathon. No one quite sure what happened.
I'll leave you to Googling around to find what's closest to actual fact if you're interested.
The point is, the messenger Pheidippides had a story to tell, a victory to declare, in spite of the tremendous hardship he'd been through in a day.
What he had was a gospel, good news of victory. And it was an honor for him to serve in the way that he did.
The news we carry with us every day, every where, is the good news of the victory of Jesus over Satan, sin, and death. And that message is absolute good news wherever we are.
Making Disciples of All Nations
At Redeemer, we want everyone, everywhere, everyday to experience the Gospel of Jesus.
Before He ascended, Jesus gave us our mission:
"Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28.18ff)
It sounds kind of overwhelming, right? But there's more:
"Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
In the book of Acts, we read about how Jesus sends the Holy Spirit, empowering His church to worship Him in word and deed, teaching others about Him and proclaiming the Gospel boldly to the ends of the earth, wherever they ended up.
No One's On The Bench
If God has claimed us through His Son, we are ambassadors, taking the news of the One who sends us to whoever needs to hear it.
Some people are called to go places where there is no gospel presence, no church, no Christians.
Some people are called to stay in places like Bellingham.
In either context, ambassadors are what we are. There's no such thing as a bench warmer in God's family.
Again, this sounds really big, right? And it is. But it works out in small ways.
- When we gather on Sundays for corporate worship, we're being missional. We're proclaiming true things about God so that people would know about him, and giving generously as people who have been given so much.
- When we're getting our coffee our tea, mission being nice to the barista, who may or may not be having a great day, so that she can experience the grace of Christ through you in that moment, and creating opportunities for you to tell them about Jesus.
- When we're at home, it's inviting the neighbors over for dinner so that they would be shown hospitality by people who have been welcomed into God's family, creating opportunities to tell them about Jesus.
- When we're at work or school, it's working hard and treating fellow students and colleagues, engaging them with respect, while praying for and creating opportunities to share the gospel of Jesus.
Wherever we are, and in whatever we do or say, we seek to give glory to God and make His name known.
Missionaries for God's Glory
God’s people have a mission. It’s a mission that includes Sunday mornings but extends beyond that window of time and influences all spheres of our ordinary lives.
Our mission is to spread the gospel and make disciples so that more and more people can know and worship Jesus for their joy and for God’s glory. This means that every person in our church is vital to this mission. No one is riding the bench. Every believer is called to care, individually and corporately, for those around us by having an outward, missionary focus in our lives.