Ambassadors. I'm a sometimes preacher, these days a Methodist holding forth among an Episcopal congregation in Detroit. All week in Washington—first through a trial for our September Declaration of Peace action at a House office building whereat we renounced again this deathly, illegal, and immoral war; during walks and talks with dear friends; and also throughout the service at the National Cathedral—I was always half brooding on my upcoming homily. There was grist of Word aplenty in the cathedral service, in text and testimony, and in a haunting doxology.
But it wasn't until we processed outside and began the walk down Massachusetts Avenue, down Embassy Row, that it began to dawn on me. Passing beneath darkened windows or backlit gawkers at embassies for the British and the Australians, for India and Pakistan, for Guatemala, Peru, Sudan, Croatia, Korea, Haiti, Ireland, even the Vatican, I found myself thinking about Paul's letter to the Corinthians. The Sunday epistle lection would summon the church not only to be reconciled to God and one another, but to be thereby "ambassadors of Christ." As we crossed the police line to the White House gates to begin a long cold vigil 'til arrest, I figured I had my sermon, or it finally had me.
Bill Wylie-Kellermann is pastor of St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Detroit and a Sojourners contributing editor.