The Call to Love Our City

Nov 15th 2011

In our community we’ve had a week of bad news and it’s going to keep coming for awhile, but here is the bad news behind the bad news. Sin runs deep and I am more messed up than I care to admit — we are more messed up than we could care to admit.

I think in our hearts we know this, but in our day-to-day lives we choose to look the other way. For example, the word morality has been discussed a great deal this week. But in our culture our view of morality is slowly shrinking to fit into smaller and smaller boxes. Have you noticed that the sexual abuse of kids is one of the few areas of sexual sin, of sexual brokenness that we can all still agree is evil, and even that evil…we would rather not discuss.

Another example, much discussion has been made this week about who knew what, and what did they do with what they knew, and was what they did, enough? Did they do enough?  In other words, we are not only talking about the morality of doing bad, but the morality of failing to do good; failing to help a child in need.

But where do we draw the line of enough? If we know that a child is starving in Somalia, and we can save their life with a gift of food, but we get distracted with our stuff, where is the line of enough?  If we know there are children in the Centre Region who are in need of a friend… on a Big Brother, Big Sister waiting list, but we can’t spare the time, where is the line of enough?

When we look at our inaction, we realize that sin runs deep, but there’s also… good news.  Here’s the good news: God’s grace is greater and more ridiculously lavish than I could ever imagine.

This is our hope. I’m not talking about a cheap grace that looks the other way, or calls everything okay. I’m talking about the scandalous grace that is hard to believe and hard to receive and almost impossible to give. I’m talking about the kind of grace that looks sin square in the face and then scares the hell out of it. I’m talking about the kind of grace that involves a cross and costs smne so much that when it is given away it’s scandalous.

That’s the good news of grace and that grace calls us to love our city.  For followers of Jesus, the call to love our city is not optional.  So how do we love our city?  We love it with both eyes open.  We love it with open eyes and open heart.  We are a community of riots and candlelight vigils, both.  We are a community of Thon and child-abuse, both.  We are a community filled with good people who mess up.  That’s the city God calls us to love.

Last weekend at Calvary we talked about loving our city.  I wish you could have been there for the whole service because the worship and the times of prayer were Spirit-filled.  But all we record is the message.  Feel free to listen through the player below or by going to and keep praying.