Summary: An Ash Wednesday Sermon

Lent Ash Wednesday.

II Corinthians 5:20-6.2

"’Bridge Builders"

"So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we entreat you not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says, "At the acceptable time I have listened to you, and helped you on the day of salvation." Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:2, RSV.

While I was taking a summer course of CPE in a hospital Cleveland, Ohio, we had a long weekend so Wanda and I decided to, drive to Niagara Falls to see the sights. It was a. nice drive and as one approached the falls, the roar of the water falling over those rocks could be heard a long ’ distant away. The wonder, the majesty of the falls was a sight to behold.

There were tour boats that took us close to the bottom of the falls, so close in fact that you had to wear a rain coat and boots or you would get all wet. There was a cave dug out behind and besides the falls, where one could go to see and feel the great power of the falls.

Then there was a suspension bridge across the falls. I don’t like high places and especially high places that move, so I didn’t walk across .

I wondered how they got that bridge built across the falls. Then I came across this story in a paper that explained it. Listen: "The suspension bridge built across Niagara Palls was begun by a thread attached to kite. When the wind blew, the kite went across. Then on the thread they attached a string and pulled it across. Then to the string, they attached a rope and pulled it across. Then’ to the rope they attached a cable, that was fastened to each end. Then on the cable a basket was attached for the men to work in and eventually the bridge was built.

The bridge started with a small piece of thread, but eventually,"a giant of. a bridge was built in comparison.

Paul says in our lesson from II Corinthians that we to be ambassadors, or bridge builders, for Christ. An ambassador is one who is an representative for a country in a foreign land. During their stay in the land, an ambassador learns about the culture, the lifestyle, the habits of the people and at the same time, through his actions, through his words, through his lifestyle, he brings into this foreign land some of the culture, some of the traditions, some. of the values of his country. The in a sense, through this ambassador, a bridge is built between the two countries. Through this one man, two different nations get to learn about each the other.

In the some kind of way, Paul says as Christians we are to be representatives for Christ. As the Amplified translate says: "So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal’ as -it were through us. We as Christ}’s personal representatives beg you for His sake to lay hold of the, divine favor new,offered you and be reconciled to God."

Or as the Living Bible says: "We are Christ’ s ambassadors. God is using us to speak to you."

We are ambassadors or representative for God, for Christ in this world. We are bridge builders for Christ . It us through us, through our actions our words, that people learn about the one we call Lord or Christ.

Barclay says in his commentary "An ambassador is a stranger in a foreign land. His life is spent among people who speak a different language, who have a different: tradition and who follow a different way life

The Christian is always like that,. He lives in the world,he takes part in all the life and work of the’ world but he is a citizen of heaven. to that extent he is a stranger. The man who is not willing to be different cannot be a Christian at ’all."

As a Christian, we represent something i. this world that is different, we represent Christ. And because we represent Christ, our lives, our actions, our’ values, our attitudes. our words, all point to him. We have value because Christ has made us valuable through his death and resurrection.

"There is’ a story about an American tourist in Paris who purchased an inexpensive amber necklace in a trinket shop, who was shocked when he had to pay. a high duty on it to clear customs in New York. This aroused his curiosity, so he had it appraised. After looking at the object under a powerful magnifying glass, the jeweler said,." I’ll give you $25,000 for it."

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