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Reflections from Movement Day in New York City

A view from Hudson River Park of One World Trade Center at night, New York City, September 6, 2014 (Credit: gigi_nyc via Flickr)New York City is one of my favorite places in the world.  The energy never stops.  The growth is amazing—the city will add another million residents by 2040.  Ten million immigrants came through Ellis Island before it was closed in 1954; today 100 million Americans, nearly one in three of us, trace our descent to one of them.  I love visiting the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park.

Yet the immorality of the city is as obvious as its vitality.  When my wife and I came out of a NYC restaurant recently we were confronted by a group of actors in cartoon costumes asking for money; one of them was a woman wearing body paint and nothing else.  We had to divert our eyes from men and women in underwear on street corners.  We attended the most family-friendly Broadway play we could find, but the obscenities that riddled its dialogue were shocking.  The world in all its beauty and tragedy is on display in New York City.

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'It's hard to be hungry when you're full'

Movement Day is catalyzing leadership teams from America’s largest cities to serve their cities more effectively by advancing high-level, city-changing collaborative partnerships. (Credit: Movement Day via Facebook)"It's hard to be hungry when you're full." I read that statement today, and it resonated with me.  I am writing this essay from New York City, where our ministry is participating with Movement Day, a five-year-old catalytic strategy to bring Christians and ministries together for collaborative work on specific social issues.  The goal is to demonstrate the relevance of our faith, thus earning the right to preach the gospel as a catalyst for spiritual awakening.

We are where the Third Great Awakening began in 1857, the result of a prayer meeting initiated by a Presbyterian layman named Jeremiah Lamphier.  Six people came the first week, 14 the second, 23 the third, and then the participants began meeting daily.  Others joined their "businessman's prayer meeting movement," and it swept the coast and into the frontier.  The next year, out of a population of 30 million Americans, one million came to faith in Christ.

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Woman believes in 'secular heaven'

A non-operational, empty escalator at King's Cross underground railway station on the northern edge of London at the junction of Euston Road and York Way, in the London Borough of Camden on the boundary with the London Borough of Islington (Credit: Chris Jones via Flickr) I read yesterday a terrific essay titled, "No One Ever Loses to Cancer."  The author tells of a man she loves who is fighting terminal malignancy.  When she heard someone say that a person had "lost the battle" against cancer," she realized:

"Our vernacular is all wrong.  I resent how cancer is represented.  Just because something kills you cannot possibly mean it defeats you.  If that were true, we would all—masters and poets and liars and sinners and dancers and writers and heroes—be destined in the end to be losers."

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