Friday, January 29, 2010

Urban Renewal

The song keeps running in my head, looping throughout the day, playing as I fall asleep. It's the first thing I hear every morning as I begin to waken. It's Chris Tomlin singing, "Greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city..."

Did you know that half of the world's population lives in cities? Tokyo, the largest city in the world, has 33,800,000 people! New York City, with a population of 21,900,000, is fifth on the list. Beautiful, exciting, alluring places, people often move to the city to find work but all too often find trouble instead. Too many people; not enough money; difficulty finding housing; no jobs; crime; poor schools -- and little hope.

As a child I had thought I would grow up to work in the city, and I guess you could say I did, with three years in Japan (three different cities, as a matter of fact) and several years in Seattle. But my work was not the inner city work I expected, and it's been years since I even lived in a city. Still, I have met a number of people whom God has called to the inner city, to live in the neighborhood and be Jesus' hands and feet to their communities. I've been with them on occasion when they have met together from across the country, and I've heard them sing. Tired and weary from their work, they sing with their whole hearts, knowing that the God they are worshipping is at work in the city to meet the needs there. The gatherings are charged with a kind of electricity.

And now God is stirring my heart again for the city. What will He do in my city (Seattle), in your city, in cities around our nation and our world, as we pray for the city and keep ourselves open to be His hands and feet there?

"..Greater things have yet to come, greater things are still to be done here."

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