As I prepare for the last leg of my journey, which has seen me connecting with international church leaders in Frankfurt, Germany and here in Atlanta, GA, I make my way home with two powerful symbols dominating my thinking.
The first, and by far most important, is the cross. At every turn I was confronted with compelling reminders that we live in a world in desperate need of the gospel. From the passion of Christian brothers like Oscar Zamora from Peru, Gerry Couchman of South Africa and Karlheinz Zimmer of Germany, I was reminded over and over that in every corner of the world the message of Christ’s love is needed now more than ever.
But another symbol has taken on a new importance for me too. That is the Maple Leaf.
The warmth and respect with which Canada’s reputation is received worldwide is striking. As an American friend involved in international ministry said, “How I envy the way Canadians are received in every part of the world.”
But then he added seriously and, I believe prophetically, “You have a great responsibility to steward well your nation’s international reputation. You must use that reputation to advance the gospel.”
We may be citizens of Heaven, but temporarily God has given us a Canadian passport. As I hold this passport in my hand, about to board my flight home to Canada, I find myself asking “How is it that God would have me steward the symbol of the Maple Leaf in order to advance the powerful symbol of the cross?”
Has God ever stirred within you a sense of responsibility to leverage your Canadian citizenship to advance the gospel beyond Canada’s borders? How?