Jesus & the City

Last week Christy and I celebrated 15 years of marriage by traveling to New York. We spent the week walking around the city and enjoying the sites, sounds, and beauty of Spring in one of America’s largest and most diverse cities. If you have ever watched a romantic comedy or action thriller, most likely many of the scenes were filmed at locations in New York. It is fun to walk and take pictures in spots where some of your favorite movie moments have occurred. Central Park was especially beautiful this time of year and was probably my favorite part of the trip, especially when you’ve juxtaposed the beautiful trees against the massive buildings of the Manhattan skyline.

With all of the above mentioned, the most striking thing for this Arizona native was the incredible diversity of people, culture, and language that existed all around you, no matter where you were in the city. It was more common to hear a foreign language passing people on the streets than it was to hear English spoken. Every type of food you could ever want to try was available day and night along with shows from the worlds leading actors, musicians, and dancers to amateurs going out for their first attempt. Your options for entertainment are endless. Even the President happened to be in town the second day we were there, and we got to see the chaos of the city as roads were shut down and barricades laid out. What a magnificent place.

All of this got me thinking, as I laid reclined one afternoon in Central Park… How could it be that the Jesus I worship, understand, know, and commune with, is the same for every person that I came across that day? This really is the unimagined beauty of the Gospel, that the message of Jesus and the cross transcends all culture, belief, and language and penetrates the hearts of men and women no matter their experiences. Try and take that in. I spend most of my life in San Tan Valley, a small urban town outside of the metropolitan city of Phoenix, many of the people, beliefs, and habits are the same. When you go to a place like New York you realize how truly miraculous it is that the Gospel of Jesus has spread all over the world, unlike any other belief system.

As you prepare your heart this week for communion and worship spend time in thanks and gratitude that God has drawn you toward Him and into an everlasting relationship.


Nathan Bentley

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