Coming from a weekend in New York City, I felt a renewed heart for the people and the culture of the big city, and I worried about my transition back to the suburbs. The Bible talks so much about the city, the Book of Revelation ends in a city, so much culture (the most complex kind) exists in the city, people come together in the city, poverty and suffering are most visible in the city. Does God have a purpose outside the city, or should we all just move to one?
Well, obviously Indianapolis is a city also, but the culture and the size and the people it lacks makes it pale in comparison to the Big Apple. So what does God plan to do here? This could be the first of many posts on this subject, but this will get us started. My church recently launched a "Neighborhood Initiative" to challenge the congregation to be more intentional in our interaction with, prayer for, and service to people in our neighborhoods. The family next door may be struggling just as much (spiritually) as the homeless man on the street corner downtown, but you'd never know until you asked. So the first 30 days of this initiative is just praying for opportunities and activities that could help us seek God's will for our neighborhoods.
Meanwhile, a good high school friend has started a website that although not specifically Christian or spiritual in any way, has recently sparked some interesting dialogue that I couldn't help myself but to join, and in the process God is revealing to me not only great spiritual hunger, but also maybe some receptivity to the Gospel, right here in the Nap. The conversation is not perfect, and I will only speak for the comments I have made (you might have to scroll quite a bit to find my comments) but in any case the articles and the comments are interesting and prove the timing of the Gospel in our culture and city is especially ripe.
Inevitably, politics enter some of the discussions. That is ok. The politcal and economic landscape add to the receptivity to the Gospel, in my opinion. Also be sure to check back periodically, as the dialogue is far from over. If nothing else, I hope the conversations reveal that we, as Christians, should not be afraid of the reality or the implications of the truth of Jesus Christ, and that we should be merciful to those who doubt. Pray with me that God would wake up our city, both Christians who need more boldness and love, and non-Christians who need hope and salvation.
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