City Highlight: New York City
Walking through NYC on any given day, I’ll see people wearing their mess on the outside. Image bearers of God who are panhandling, mentally unstable, lying on sidewalks or subway trains, and at times, drinking their pain away. I am consistently reminded of the brokenness we live in and the ultimate sacrifice God made to restore us to Himself in Jesus. I am also reminded of the dignity that He bestows on each of us. Though we are made from the dust of the earth (Gen. 2:7), He has made us in His image and His Word reveals that we are caretakers of the earth. However, when we treat each other as less than image bearers with dignity and worth bestowed by the Lord Himself, we are at the very least insulting our Creator.
As God continues to sanctify us, let us be mindful of our words and actions. Words can be powerful just as powerful as actual and they can easily separate us from those we are called to love. As we speak, are we lifting up or tearing down at the cost of others? Are we a bold testament to the love of Christ or are we denying Him with our actions? Jesus teaches His followers parable after parable about humility, about the last being first and the lowest being brought to the head of the table, which is a powerful reminder of where our sinful hearts tend to run to.
CSM NYC has had the privilege of serving alongside organizations such as NYC Relief, NYC Rescue Mission, St. Paul’s House and others, who understand this and desire to see people realizing their full humanity in Christ. Through holistic ministry, they are helping to restore the dignity that was never lost, but misplaced for some time. As followers of Christ, we are called to toil for the Gospel, the true restoration of man to God, however, we cannot separate the Gospel from justice, mercy and love, we cannot expect to see lives change in the Gospel without acknowledging one another's full humanity and working for the good of others as Jesus did.