Scripture Reading — Ephesians 2:11-22
In him you too are being built together ... Ephesians 2:22 —
Manuel lives in a rundown neighborhood. Across the highway are upscale homes that cost thousands of dollars more than his. That other neighborhood has new schools, a new theater, and beautiful parks. Manuel knows because he works as a landscaper there. Half of the people in Manuel's neighborhood speak Spanish. Some folks are from Southeast Asia, others are African-American, and a third are Caucasian.
Manuel spends three nights a week playing soccer. Afterward he drinks beer and watches television. He knows that when he's 50 and can no longer do the back-breaking labor his job requires, his boss will hire a younger immigrant. He has no marketable skills and no pension, and he believes he has no future.
I know a man who wants to reach people like Manuel. He's white. He has a master's degree. But he moved to Manuel's neighborhood and plays on Manuel's soccer team. He teaches at the high school that Manuel's children attend. He's joined a neighborhood association to help fix homes in the neighborhood. He's starting a church to bring the gospel into Manuel's area.
North America is a huge mission field--less than 33 percent of the people attend church regularly. Every place is far more diverse than ever before. We need new churches to reach into this beautiful diversity.
Father, thank you for the cultural richness of our society. Thank you for church planters called to reach people with the gospel. Speed their way. Let us be their helpers. Amen.