Essay on A Connection Between God 's Missional Work And The City

Essay on A Connection Between God 's Missional Work And The City

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As we further read the Old Testament, we come into several accounts that show a connection between God’s missional work and the city. One of these stories is described in the book of Jonah when God sends his prophet Jonah on a unique mission – to go to the pagan city of Nineveh. This is the first time that a prophet is sent to be a messenger in a non-Jewish, pagan city; nevertheless, at first Jonah chooses to run away from the city before finally going to preach there. Why does God send an Israelite prophet to a pagan city? He does so because of his love and his intentions to reconcile all humanity back with him. We see in this story that God shows compassion to more than 120,000 people living in this city (Jonah 4:10-11, ESV). He says to Jonah, “You can show pity to the plant, but cannot bear my compassion to many people”. His compassionate love is way deeper and wider than Jonah can grasp or understand. In this passage we see that God’s mission is what he is doing for the sake of the world: It is God’s long-term purpose to renew his creation. (Goheen 2011, 25). This mission is not just for the sake of one nation, or a particular group, but for the sake of all of humanity, which includes everybody.
As the biblical story continues, it presents us with the account of the people of Israel carried into exile from Jerusalem to the pagan and wicked city of Babylon. I believe this is the most important narrative in the Old Testament concerning God’s mission and the city, which correlates with the mission of the church in the world today. In this story, we can observe three different options regarding the relationship between the Israelite exiles and the hostile Babylonian culture:
1. The reason why the Babylonians send Israelite leade...


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...scinating picture of the New Jerusalem gives us a glimpse of how the city can look like when it is built by God and he is in the midst of it. It inspires and motivates us to participate in God’s mission, to work on developing a culture that nurtures kindness and appreciates the beauty of God’s creation, and to build a community that honors God and loves people. In the following section I am going to illustrate how the revelation of God’s missional motives concerning the city affected my personal worldview, helped me to deeper understand God’s love for humanity, fully changed my perception of the surrounding culture, and brought me personally and missionally on a different journey that I was unaware of previously. This revelation began impacting not just me personally, but my missional partners and church planters that I work with in my ministry context in Ukraine.

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