Luke was outside Penn Station when he noticed a homeless man asking for something to eat, so he offered to buy him some pizza. As they walked and ate together, Luke learned the man’s name was John — he had been fired from his job while he was caring for his parents, who later passed away, leaving John unable to pay for bills and the mortgage. John had moved to NYC, hoping for a good shelter system, but all of his things had been stolen and he was left with what he was wearing and shoes that were too small for his feet. After hearing this, Luke gave John an extra pair of shoes, clothes and a pair of socks.
The next day, he wrote “I’m wondering where God is in the life of John. John’s story just doesn’t seem just or fair. Then I remembered the story of Jesus healing the blind man in John 9. The disciples asked if the man was blind because his parents had sinned. Jesus answered that the man was blind so the work of God might be displayed in him. At least for those 10 minutes I was having pizza with John, God was there and was glorified. In fact, I can really see now how growing from 5% to 15% gospel-believing Christians in Manhattan could have a profound effect and difference on the city. I’m so convinced of it now! John had been ignored by so many people outside Penn Station, saying to me, ‘nine million people in this city and I can’t find anyone who would help.’ He wasn’t even that hungry — he had only ordered one slice. What John really needed was someone to acknowledge him, listen to him, and care about his story.”
We want to see New York, and all the people in it, flourish. As Tim Keller says, “If a critical mass of New Yorkers lived their lives, made culture, in ways that express the gospel with mercy, justice, friendship and hope it could change the fabric of the city, it might even change the world.” We believe the gospel changes everything. How will you rise?
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