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Friday, April 10, 2009

good friday & Boston

It's good friday.
Nick and I have talked a lot this week about what that means, what this whole business of Easter is about. We celebrate such an amazing gift today.

Because God is just, someone had to pay the price. Someone had to be punished.
For all of our sin.
It was either eternal death for all of us, or one other alternative.
The perfect One, the only Holy man, the only One who had done no wrong - He had to die.
And He did, and when it was over, he promised, "it is finished".
It's the kind of good that makes you weep. The kind of good that leaves you speechless.

But then, Because God is Loving, He had to give us hope.
He had to give us the resurrection.
Jesus came back to show us that not only do we have the truth of a co-crucifixion, we have the hope of a co-resurrection. He not only paid the penalty, He offered the hope and said He would give us new life - the opportunity to respond to Him and follow Him and make the rest of our lives worth living. That's the kind of love that brings you to your feet, the kind of love that makes you tell others - there is hope.

So there it is, not the whole of the gospel - but the part that is overwhelming me this year.
God is just and paid the price for me.
God is good and gave me a hope.
That is good news, good news we have to share.

That being said, I'm going to segway into two questions Nick and I have spent a lot of time talking about lately. The answers are causing us to move cross-country, change it all up, & do something that is not necessarily going to be easy or fun all the time.

1. Why Boston?
On January 29th, 2009 Gallup Press released a study that named the state of Massachusetts the 4th least churched state in the United States. States one through three were Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine making the Northeast the least churched region of the United States. Simply said - this is an area where people do not know Jesus. It's not like the South, not like other parts of the country, where the choice is which church to go to? They simply aren't there. There aren't enough churches and there aren't enough people preaching the good news. It's not even like the Northwest, (which used to be the most unchurched) because pastors & churches like Mars Hill have started responding to the call there - preaching the gospel and sharing the good news.

2. Why does this matter to us?
First and foremost - Boston is a city of great cultural, political, and scientific influence. A recent study showed that 36% of the world's leaders have spent some sort of their time in Boston - learning, growing, grooming, & being shaped. It is an influential city and an influential city that is not being influenced by Christ is scary for our nation and our world. Secondly, it's a city rich with spiritual heritage, with so many of our country's great revivals and pastors having spent time there - it is just actually heart-breaking to see that it is now one of the nation's most unchurched peoples. Thirdly, if we believe in Easter, that the gospel of Jesus is good news, we have to want that for other people - and that sometimes means acting to see that you do as much as possible to tell them the truth.

So today, I pray first and foremost that you have an amazing Good Friday.
Second, can I ask you all a favor? Can we use this silly mommy blog for Boston today?
Would you pray for us? For those two questions. Would you pray for our path, for all that has to fall in place, for the people who need to hear the truth and for boldness for us to speak it? Would you mention to friends and family over dinner what the Lord is sending Nick to do and ask them to pray as well? Also, would you come back next Friday (and the next & the next) for another Boston blog - since I'll be talking a little bit more about our plans and our needs and maybe convincing my husband to be a guest blogger once in a while? Thanks y'all.

The news is good, friends and we've got to go share it.

4 comments:

Leigh said...

praying.

love your family. love that you are going where you are being called to go. it's inspiring and beautiful. Gray and I cannot wait to watch the Lord work through you and Nick in Boston.

Rachand Merchel said...

Jessi,
My sister and brother-in-law live right outside of Boston on the North Shore. I'm sure they would love to get involved with you guys! Let me know if you are interested and I will connect you all:) Joel is an excellent drummer, guitarist, and vocalist if you need help in worship:)

Also, my parents are a few hours from there... if you ever need anything - you can always call on a Merchand and they will come runnin!

Love you.
Rach

Rachel said...

Y'all are definitely in my prayers. I'm excited about how the Lord is moving in your life and leading you to do what many people probably don't understand--we've been there. Looking forward to many more Friday Boston blogs. :)

Carrie said...

Jessi-
Would absolutely love the privilege of coming alongside you and Nick in prayer about your move, your future church and congregation and for the hearts of the soon to be attendees of the church. God is rich in His truths and sovereign in His will. Can't wait to join you on a blog journey and pray for you all as you transition.
Love.
Carrie