“Let the message about Christ in all its richness fill your lives…And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:16-17

Let’s make some simple observations about what Paul is saying here. First of all, verse 16.

The message about Christ is rich.
The message about Christ has the potential to fill our lives.
The message about Christ isn’t just about words, but about life.
The message about Christ is about more than times at church.
God is interested in our whole lives.

And verse 17?

You can represent Jesus by doing things.
You can represent Jesus by saying things.
Whatever you do can be done as a representative of Jesus.
We can represent Jesus in our jobs.
We can represent Jesus on the football pitch.
We can give thanks to God by doing what He has wired us to do.

Very simple observations but thoughts that can be revolutionary for our lives.

Paul is saying that we each have a mission, and that mission is to be a representative of Jesus in whatever we do and say. And that can come about by letting this rich message about Jesus Christ fill our lives and invade everything we do.

Things like designing websites, writing poetry or cooking food. Or by creating things, teaching children and cleaning toilets.

And how?

By doing our work as well as we can
By allowing our God given creativity to flow out of us
By modelling an attitude of Jesus
And when the moments come, representing Jesus in how we speak of Him.

But we all know how hard this is to live out in practice. It’s not easy for everything we do in life be to glorify God. This mission is a 24/7 mission. There are no holidays or days off but we are called to be Jesus’ representatives at all times. The body of Christ in every moment of every day. Maybe that’s why Jesus described it as the narrow way.

I know I can’t do this on my own. And anyway, it feels like this life wasn’t meant to be lived as a hermit. In light of this mission we need help, support, love, encouragement and inspiration. For me, that comes from a community of Christ followers. Some call it the church.

And so our times at church must build us up and equip us for our mission. It should be a time where people can come together in community to share how God is moving in all our various spheres of influence, support one another in it, pray for each other and learn together how we can represent Jesus better in whatever we do.

In our church communities we must spend time teaching and emphasising the true call of Christ to follow Him to the hard places and represent Him in all sectors of society with whatever we do and say.

And not just teaching it, but supporting people as they do.

As I write, I find the word ‘represent’ very interesting because in this instance I think it’s vital that the church (re) presents itself right in the midst of society. The church in the West used to be right at the heart and centre of society. People everywhere turned to it. Church leaders were listened to as the fount of all authority.

But now we seem to have been pushed to the fringes. Worse still, in some cases we’ve moved ourselves there.

And how we need a (re) presenter of Jesus in all the shops on our high street, all the businesses on our stock exchange and all the restaurants in our city. If we are the body of Christ, then are there parts of our society where Christ’s body is literally not there?

I once met a really passionate follower of Jesus who had applied for a job as a barman in one of Belfast’s gay bars. Now I’m not for one moment suggesting that this is for everyone, but surely it’s about time we recognised jobs like this as a mission from Christ.

Just like that church missionary going to the unreached people group in Africa. Or like the minister who will preach on a Sunday morning. Or the worship leader

Yeah this guy will be slated by many in the church for even being in that bar and associating with such places. But his purpose was to infiltrate the very roots of culture in order to influence for Jesus. Bringing the very presence of Jesus to a place so in need of it. (Re) presenting Jesus to those who are desperate for a touch of true love that only Christ can offer.

(Re) presenting Jesus in Africa. Not for everyone, just for those called by Christ to do so.

(Re) presenting Jesus in the business world and stock markets. Not for everyone, just for those called by Christ to do so.

(Re) presenting Jesus in gay bars. Not for everyone, just for those called by Christ to do so.

So where is He calling you to (re) present Him in?