God Of This City


In my Leadership Practicum class, my friend James was giving a book review on Urban Ministry and some of his points caught my attention.  One point focused on the importance of cities throughout history.  Ever since the beginning of time cities symbolize power, prestige, and wealth.  Societal advancement is always birthed in cities.  Most interesting to me was the fact that in the Scriptures, cities, not countries are usually the ones that are mentioned when there is a conquest of land.

And what is even more amazing is that I see these facts in our world today.  Los Angeles and San Francisco on the West Coast, New York City on the East Coast.  These cities (to name a few) and so many others are the highlight spots of the world.  Many people I have encountered express desire and interest in moving to bigger cities.  There is something about humanity that craves advancement.  Not to mention the sheer fact that a bigger city has more to offer.

The next point reveals that just recently (maybe the past 50 years) people have started moving towards the suburbs and rural areas and away from the cities.  The idea behind this is that cities are now seen depraved and places where evil is birthed.  Once again I can see the connection in the life that I live.  We say we want to move to Los Angeles, but what we are really saying is that we want to move near LA in a surrounding city.  We don’t want to move to the ghetto and slums of LA.  For me as well, I would like to one day live in Southern California, but I always imagine living in the Orange County area, perhaps in Irvine, Laguna Beach, or Newport Beach.

How does this tie into the Christian faith?  As Christians, have we run away from the city and the people who need us most in order to live in a comfortable and safe environment?  I wonder if the “comfortable and safe” we so desire is slipping through our hands when the true comfortable and safe is when we are in God’s hands.  I am reminded of one of my older posts.  Have we retreated from the mission Christ has given us?

I ask these questions, not to guilt us into packing up and moving into the heart of the inner city, but to question our hearts.  We might not up and move, but we definitely have the capability to get in our cars and drive to the heart of the city and preach the gospel of Christ.  The apostle Paul didn’t have the luxury of cars in his day, but he still devoted his life to it.

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