WorkGroup Reflection: Pleasant Street Christian Reformed Church

Reflections on my trip to UrbanPromise ~ July 10-16

And Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

This past week at UrbanPromise, I saw the Kingdom of God coming with power.

  • I saw little children being welcomed in the Name of Jesus and God’s grace being heaped upon the poor, the vulnerable and the least of these.
  • I saw campers, StreetLeaders, work groups, interns and staff revolving around one another in a joyful, spirited dance—like the Father, Son & Holy Spirit do.
  • I saw a community in which the usual dividing walls of race, age, gender, culture and social class were powerfully overcome by the reconciling love of Christ.
  • I saw fearful and indifferent standing still give way to risky and love-motivated road-crossing.
  • I saw leaders who refused to lord their power and positions over others, but who served and laid down their lives—making the first ones last and the last ones first.
  • I saw young people with visions and old people who dream dreams working together for the flourishing of individual lives and entire communities.
  • I saw creation being restored—first fruits of a New Eden.
  • I saw the city being restored—a preview of the New Jerusalem.
  • I saw the power of wasteful love and naive grace transform the lives of moral failures and spiritual zeros.
  • I saw mustard seeds of faith become trees so big that several hundred of Camden’s “birds” could perch in its branches.
  • I saw a pinch of yeast work through the dough of entire communities, changing them from the inside out.
  • I saw a plentiful harvest with plenty of harvesters and nets bursting at the seams with fresh catch.
  • I saw Jesus feed several hundred children with a prayer and a box truck (and no money).
  • I saw the faces of the abused, neglected and hopeless transfigured in the light of Christ’s glory.
  • I saw women rejoicing over their lost coins, shepherds leaving the 99 to find the one that got away, Father’s scanning the horizon for lost children to come home.
  • I saw the salt of the earth preserving it from decay, and the light of the world inviting others to praise their Father in Heaven.
  • I saw the rich building smaller barns and not taking things easy.
  • I saw the poor going home full, and being pulled out of their cycle of poverty.

I love going to UrbanPromise and being a part of what God is doing in the city of Camden.  I always leave encouraged, inspired and renewed.  But most importantly, I leave knowing that although the Kingdom of God has not yet come in full, it has already come.

And Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.”

Bill Hodgeman ~ Whitinsville, MA
Pleasant Street Christian Reformed Church