As a child, when my family lived overseas, we were acquainted with the British Ambassador (I recently discovered he went to the school where my family now live and work, but that’s another story!). In fact, one year, both the Ambassador and I did a Bible reading in the united carol service in town. We have the same name, too. Well, sort of … He insisted on being Nicholas, I prefer ‘Nick’. He told me once, when I was but a lad, that one day I would prefer ‘Nicholas’ to ‘Nick’. This would be, I think, a sign that I was growing up – I would set aside the abbreviated name of childhood and adopt the grown up name of adulthood. I’m still waiting for that preference to change… But I digress, back to the word ‘Ambassador’.
It always struck me as a pretty cool title. It’s equivalent, ‘High Commissioner’, didn’t sound too shabby either. Ambassador has a certain ring to it. The fact that the gentleman in question was not simply ‘Nicholas’, but ‘Sir Nicholas’ added a further layer of gravitas. The role, at its most basic, is to be a bridge between nations. The Queen’s representative (in our case, anyway!) in a far-flung land. As ambassador, you are the voice of your homeland.
And then there are the perks. Although I never went inside his house, I gather it was pretty decent. I did have a couple of swimming lessons in his pool, and enjoyed a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the grounds of his residence. All very pleasant. He also had an bullet-proof Bentley (I think it was a Bentley, anyway – certainly something along those lines). Now, who wouldn’t want a ride in a Bentley, especially a bullet-proof one?! In fact, there was a suggestion, during the Gulf War, that perhaps he should be driving us all to church, given the hightened tensions in the country…
So, I’ve always enjoyed the term, ‘Ambassador’. It seems thoroughly appealing.
Imagine my excitement, then, to know that I am one. People haven’t started calling me ‘Your Excellency’ yet, but maybe in time they will. Because I am an ambassador. I’ve even got it in writing:
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors,
as though God were making his appeal through us.
I’m sorry, but how cool is that?! While I have a great deal of respect for our Queen, and would be honoured to be her representative, the Bible makes it clear that I am God’s representative. This is both a far greater honour and a far greater responsibility. I am a spokesperson for my King. I am the voice of my true homeland. I am a representative of the One to whom I have pledged my allegiance.
When people see me, do they see this?