I was encouraged recently when my mom handed me the monthly magazine that the denomination my church is part of puts out and I saw that the theme for the issue was working with the inner city. As much as the place where I live has an inner city (that really isn't much compared to some of the larger cities in North America, but we have one), that is where I work. Which means I see everyday some of the needs that this magazine was talking about.
I often wonder where the Church is in all of this. In the area of town where I work I see one church within a few blocks. There aren't many in that area of town. Not that the church has to be there in terms of a physical building for it to be present, but I would say in many ways the presence of the Church is lacking compared to other areas of town where there are churches just a couple of blocks from one another. But, I think along with the lack of physical buildings has come a lack of the people of God being the Church among these people.
To me, it was encouraging to read about what is happening to bring God's love into these places of cities. The inner city is a place that desperately needs the love of God to penetrate the hopelessness and despair that is often present. We need to be creative in how we reach out to these people as they are not going to come to a traditional church building. We need to go to them and bring God's love with us as we go.
I have seen myself some examples of the Church bringing God's love into the inner city, and reading about more as I read this magazine I was even more amazed at what is happening and what God is doing. I believe we need more of this to happen. The Church needs to come together and partner with one another and the ministries that already exist to help these people to make a difference.
In all reality, I'm not completely sure we will ever be able to completely eradicate the homelessness, and drug addiction that runs rampant in many cities today. But, we can make a difference in it all if take seriously our call to reach out and help the least of all in our society.
My apologies for the rant tonight. This is where my heart is at right now and I feel these things strongly right now.