"We are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us."
2 Cor 5:20
I could spend all of Lent savoring this single statement from Paul's second letter to the Corinthians. What do Paul's words mean to you? What do you feel when you read that sentence?
For me, this statement is a reminder to keep Christ top of mind and centered in my life at all times. It's easy to focus on Christ today -- Ash Wednesday -- when a physical reminder of his influence is traced front and center on my forehead for everyone to see. Perhaps just as importantly, I see the ashen cross each time I look in the mirror. My smudged reflection reminds me of my Christian faith, my sinfulness, and my Lord who is my savior.
When I read Paul's words, I feel a great sense of responsibility to behave in a Christian way at all times, in thought, word, and deed. That's a lot of pressure! Then I remember Christ's words in Matthew 11:29-30 "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." Notice Jesus doesn't say, "be sinless, just like me!" He says to learn from him. Learning includes lessons, and some of the best lessons come from mistakes!
Even with all my numerous defects and insufficiencies, God still loves me and his love is eternal (which is too much to comprehend!), patient, and forgiving. God knows our mistakes, our inadequacies, our sins, but he still loves us just the same.