"18Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation,
19namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
21He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
Which is the Gospel message in it's purest form: we who are reconciled to God through Christ are called to tell others that that same reconciliation is available to them. To you. We are, in effect, God's Peace Commissioners, charged with the message that it is possible to be at Peace with God.
It is a battle. That which is unholy (all of us) by our nature want to keep away from a Holy God. But God works in the lives of those whom He will, drawing to Himself unholy sinners and making them, as it says in the verse above, 'the righteousness of God in Him'.
Why this picture? I have this picture in my collection of unscanned objects-this picture came from the Library of Congress. Family history in tintypes and postcards.
God's Peace Commissioners for 2011 are mocked, hated, killed-all for bearing the name of Christ. That is spiritual hate being directed at Christians who serve the Prince of Peace. Our response? God Loves ______.