Today I spent over an hour with a former British ambassador to a European nation. He regaled us with tales of KGB honey traps, visits by Mrs Thatcher and IRA plots to blow him up. He shared his views and insights into Vladimir Putin and the apparent growth of Russian aggression.
During the course of his talk, I was struck by his gentle eloquence and reasoned communication. It was clear that the man had risen to the top of our diplomatic service because of his natural abilities, including his persuasiveness. The others in the room were silently fascinated by everything he said.
In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul says ‘Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God.’
Whereas this gentleman was Her Britannic Majesty’s representative abroad, so we are His Heavenly Majesty’s representatives on earth. What a daunting appointment! And we were not given this role because of our eloquence or innate abilities, but because of His unfathomable election.
On one occasion, he politely rebuked a certain prince’s demeaning behaviour during a function at the embassy. His logic was that his ambassadorial residence was the Queen’s house, and she certainly wouldn’t have tolerated this behaviour at Buckingham Palace. So, too, we are not just ambassadors, but the salt of the earth, preserving what is good, and rebuking that which would offend our King.