Subject: West Side Update - April 6
April 6, 2015
New Birth Portraits:
The term “born again” is as polarizing today in America as it was 20 centuries ago when Jesus of Nazareth confided to a friend, “Truly, truly, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” The New Birth Portrait series was created to explore and further articulate the meaning of his words through the lives of “New Yorkers.”
Each video portrait acts as a window into the new birth experience – an experience typically dismissed, usually misunderstood, rightly considered offensive. Even so, one’s initial response does not normally demonstrate understanding. It did not for Jesus’ friend who immediately retorts, “How can a man be born when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born! How can this be?”
West Sider Will Tant is featured in the 2015 Easter New Birth Portrait. To hear how God has worked in his life as a surfer and student, click here.
As a church of Jesus Christ, Redeemer exists to help build a great city for all people through a movement of the gospel that brings personal conversion, community formation, social justice and cultural renewal to New York City and, through it, to the world.
It’s the day after Easter. Many of you enjoyed the celebration embodied in the words, “He is not here, he has risen just as he said” (Matthew 28:6). So on this Monday it’s appropriate to ask the question, “Now what?” In many ways the answer, if you are a Christian, is a renewed commitment to bring the reality of God’s inaugurated kingdom to bear on earth as it is in heaven. NT Wright puts it this way:
“The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God's future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether. They are part of what we may call building for God's kingdom.”
One very practical way for you to ‘build God’s kingdom’ is to donate and volunteer with HFNY. At our worship services yesterday we heard stories from individuals who have experienced the power of the resurrection in their lives as a result of the work of HFNY and their affiliates. So on this Monday after Easter, please consider how you can partner with them in bringing the hope of Easter to those in our City who so often live their lives without it.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
Rev. David Bisgrove
You can still make your Easter gift to HFNY
Here are some highlighted opportunities to serve the city with Hope for New York. As always, you can check HFNY’s volunteer page to search a full list by neighborhood and service type.
Citymeals-on-Wheels // Deliver Meals to Homebound Elderly in UWS
StreetSquash // Tutor Youth from Local Harlem Schools
Here are a highlighted events happening across Redeemer. For a full listing, see the Connect.
Parents: Join us for an Education Forum
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” - Psalm 16:2
Prayer: Putting It Into Practice
Visit redeemer.com/prayer for additional prayer resources and tools.
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