Monday, March 22, 2010

NYCUP Support Letter: Passion Week

27 March—2 April 2010

Dearest Family,

Next week is Passion Week… Remember? I confess it sneaks up on me nearly every year. As I reflect on how Jesus spent his final days, he begins to reveal what matters to God’s heart. Christ bids me to follow him on this path to the cross: To suffer, lament, and die while giving God glory. To enter next week with him. To share in his heart that wept over the city, that scorned fruitless religion, that pled and bled as his own disciples slept.

Next week is also my spring break, and I am tempted to sleep. A month ago, I was invited to the South Bronx for NYC Urban Plunge (NYCUP), a week-long inner city missions trip sponsored by InterVarsity. I know very little about it but the details I can share with you so far follow: With seven other students I will be wrestling with God’s heart on issues of systemic injustice, poverty, and racial reconciliation. We will be living and learning in community about an abundant life of freedom in Christ’s service, and we will be working on renewing a rundown church building into a community center.

Until this past weekend (cutting it close, you know me), I tried to ignore the growing weight of God’s invitation to recover or discover his heart for the city and for me. As you may know, my heart’s grown a bitter self protection and invulnerable indifference in/to this city—and consequently to God—these last years… I have rejected as he beckons me to break, again. Enough, LORD, my heart says and shrinks.

In God’s mercy, he continues to beckon. I write to ask for your prayers as our Father gives me the grace to obey and to follow his Son, who himself was homeless with no place to rest his head, whose food was to do the will of His father, whose obedience led him to the violently Good Friday. And as these letters go, I also want your money. The NYCUP cost is $400 and any money you give in excess will go to future support of the organization, to ensure that it is sustainable and able to serve for years to come. Please reply to my e-mail if you are willing and able to give either/both your prayer or monetary support up to $20, and of course if you have any questions. I will respond with prayer requests and updates. Also, I ask that the majority of you who are students refrain from sending money. Your prayers and friendship have helped carry me this far. They, not money, are what I most covet from you, and I trust God will continue to provide.

I hear His promise. Friday is not safe, but Friday is Good; Friday is Good but Sunday is final. Death is captive in His victory train, the chains of failure and fear—my chains—are loosed. I am forgiven and free. It is finished! I pray you also continue to hear and follow his merciful beckoning in your own life, and that we will believe into his power and remember his promises as we contemplate this holy week. Thank you for being an example in this and for your continued love and support! I would love to hear how God has been loving you and not letting you go, too.

Gripped by and grappling with grace,


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