“ Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. -2Corinthians 5:20
I always think of being an example or ambassador when I leave home. Yet God has been impressing on me that my position as His ambassador never changes and that perhaps within my home it is the most important role I will ever have.
This is an excerpt from a devotion I read last week compliments of family life:
“Think of your home as an embassy, both for your family and for others.
An embassy is a tiny piece of the home country on foreign soil.
When your children come home from school, they are not coming to your home but to the embassy of the King whose rule extends from your lives to the dwelling He has provided for you. When you and your husband return home from work, your embassy is waiting for you to remind you of your true Home that is not on this earth!”
These words made such an impact on me. My kids are grown and Dave works from home so I could have glossed over them as not really all that applicable at this point in my life, at least as far as the welcome goes. No one was really coming or going…. However, as you know, I have another family living with me, my grandchildren and my daughter and son in law and this week my daughter’s mother in law. There are 6 people coming and going from this tiny piece of Kingdom territory on foreign soil. Am I welcoming them well? Am I representing the King? Am I an atmosphere changer creating an atmosphere that reflects the kingdom of heaven, safe, positive and life giving? Is this a place where others will experience healing from heart-ache or greater inspiration for living? Having a 12 month and 18 month old on our own for the last 2 weeks has given me enormous empathy for my friends who have small ones. Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, “hangry” children all tend to have us forget who we are representing. There are also times when in our fatigue or personal worries we simply fail to be intentional in creating a haven that our family is able to flourish in.
God does not want us to feel guilty, simply to remember who we are and do our best to be Jesus to those in our own homes where we are called to serve rather tirelessly. Every day is a wonderful opportunity for a “do over” as ambassadors.
In the same devotion this week I was encouraged to read how we are to open our doors to others as well:
“ Early church Christians felt so strongly about the body of Christ and our homes as a place of belonging that the Benedict of Narcissi made rules about the way visitors to the monastery would be greeted. A porter stood guard at the door at all times-even sleeping nearby-so that when someone knocked, the porter could get to the door as fast as he could to greet the waiting guest. Every visitor was to be greeted in a way that displayed to him the gentleness of the reverence of God and the warmth of God’s love: a welcome that declared the visitor a gift from God. The porter told every visitor, “We are so grateful God has brought you to us”.
Oh how I love this picture! If I could paint I would create this picture and hang it above my front door as a reminder of how important hospitality is. It isn’t how perfect our home is or how elaborate a meal we have on the table. The important thing is how we make the visitor feel. This is a picture of enthusiastically embracing all who come over our threshold. The focus is on them not the impression we are making on them. When our heart is filled with gratefulness for their presence they will feel welcome regardless of what is being served or how the house or we may look.
This week I am simply working on creating a home that reflects Jesus changing me. My desire is to create a home that is a refuge for all who are under our roof and all who may drop by.