God’s glitter

Flying over Tokyo in the middle of the night is one of the most breathtaking views I’ve seen. A huge piece of land, lit up by millions and millions of light bulbs. I love city lights. It’s just as great as star gazing. I always imagine that God walked by and threw a handful of glitter on the ground.  This week’s topic was called “finding God in the city” and it was probably some of the best teaching I’ve heard in my entire life. I could write three different blog posts, but let me go with this: never before had I realized just how much glitter God has.

It’s common knowlegde that the globe is getting crowded. The population of planet earth is exploding and it honestly seems a little scary. Or I should say seemed a little scary. The rapidly growing numbers is put on display in the cities. 1/7 people on the earth live spread out in just 41 locations and these are called megacities. Los Angeles is on the list of the 20 biggest cities in the world, and it makes me excited to live here – let me tell you why! There’s a beauty in the massive cities and I’ve come to realize how the urbanization ligns up with 1) God’s character and 2) God’s mission.
1) A city, by definition, is a place where a group of people live, relate and create together. My God is a god of relationship, even within himself – the trinity is the ultimate expression of love and relationship, and the city reflects that in a way that nothing else can. We typically think that nature is the best reflection of the Lord, but actually mankind is the only thing created in God’s image, so when we come together we actually show more of who God is than anything else. If this makes you cringe, it’s probably because you’ve started to think about the legitimate problems in a major city. Gangs, violence, human trafficking – the list is long. There’s so much evil in the city, now how can I claim that it shows me who God is?
In the gospel of John Jesus tells us, that the enemy came to steal, kill and destroy. I think, that satan goes hard on the places that really has potential to show who God is, and every city has that ability. This means that the violence, the rage and terror going on in the city actually might show us, that the city is very important to God and that is why the devil does everything he can to destroy the beauty of it.

Now this leads me to another lesson I learned. The city is a phenomenal place to fulfill the great comission.

2) Jesus told us to go and share the gospel with every nation. 2,000 years later there’s still around 600 unreached people groups. When we didn’t go to the nations, God brought the nations to us. With the expansion of the cities the nations are mixing together. It’s called globalization, and it’s a beautiful opportunity to reach the unreached. It is fair to estimate that almost every family and tribe in the world has someone living in a city by now. If I can meet some tribal south american here in LA and he gets to know Jesus, he can go home and tell his tribe about it. That is effective ministry. Living in LA puts me in touch with so many nations, that it almost takes my breath away. It’s not an excuse, so I don’t have to go to some dangerous developing country. Reality is though, that some places it’s illegal to preach the gospel. Yet those nations need the gospel. Frustrating when we can’t go, but God handed us the city to solve that problem. The growth of the cities doesn’t come from childbirth, it comes from immigration. This means that probably every little village and tribe from the dessert to the jungle has someone going to the city. There, someone might tell them about Jesus, and then the natives are able to go home and tell their tribe about Jesus way easier than any white missionary ever could. God is reaching the nations through the city and it makes me really excited.

City lights. I realized that we can be the city lights. Jesus said, that we are the light of the world, and I feel humbled and blessed by being a part of the urban generation that God allows to enter some massive groups of people to shine his light. We’re God’s glitter.


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