July 2, 2023: God’s Ambassador

Festival of John Hus

God’s Ambassador

I am always amazed at how many doors open for me when I identify myself as a pastor. I’ve had doctors welcome me into patients’ rooms; I have been welcomed into offices in funeral homes to meetings between families and funeral directors; and I’ve been welcomed into countless church members’ homes with such grace.

It is such a blessing to be welcomed into the home of new parents who are wanting their baby baptized. As I explain what is offered and the promises that will be made during worship, it is a holy time.

I have been with people who are dying—sometimes alone, sometimes with family in the room—and it becomes a very sacred time, offering prayer or singing a hymn or standing in silence and feeling God’s presence and the solid connection with the Divine.

In countless visits with shut-ins and with those who are hospitalized, I have been welcomed because I enter each time knowing that I am not entering alone. I enter as God’s ambassador. This did not come easily for me. It happened with experience in the pastoral role. The more I could let the focus be on God—the one whom I was representing—the more I felt the presence of the congregation I was serving, as a shut-in or hospital patient would welcome me.

Have you visited someone as God’s ambassador? Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to shine in you, through you, around you, as someone welcomed you into their space—their home, their car, their park bench, their hospital room? As you have been welcomed, so God has been welcomed.

The Festival of John Hus will be celebrated in a few days. He was not welcomed by the church he served. As he witnessed to what he believed about Jesus Christ and what he understood Scripture to mean, he was condemned as a martyr and died a horrible death. Most of us will never have to do what he did in his lifetime or in his death. That should encourage us to be mindful of the God who promises to be with us in all places and circumstances and at all times. that we might speak and act in God’s name.

Barb Berg, pastor, London Moravian Church, Cambridge, Wisconsin