This is a great song from Zach Williams filled with great truth! We are so excited to have Zach joining us at this years Worship In The Adirondacks 2018. For details and tickets go to www.worshipintheadirondacks.com.
Arise & Shine: A Message for Boston
Today, Kelly Steinhaus, UniteBoston’s Team Leader, shares her perspective on God’s destiny for the city of Boston and how this is reflected in what is currently happening within the Christian community.
Above: Sunrise over the Charles River
Do you like watching the sunrise? I sure do.
Whether or not you prefer to wake up that early in the morning, we are in an amazing time where God is rising over this city, awakening hearts and calling people to the place of prayer.
Isaiah wrote this message to the city of Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, and I believe it’s also a representation of what God wants to do in here in the city of Boston.
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.“ (Isaiah 60:1)
I want to specifically draw your attention to verse 3: “Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” This is actually strikingly familiar to a sermon preached by John Winthrop on his way to America, where he spoke that the new community they would form would be "a city upon a hill, that the eyes of all people are on us…We shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world.”
You see, Boston’s destiny is to be a beacon of the nations.
Thus, the question becomes: what do we want to be known for?
Currently, Boston is one of the smallest world-class cities, known for its rich history and being an intellectual hub. With over 300,000 college students, Boston is a popular place to come to pursue high-class education.
But I believe that God has so much more for us – This is only the beginning.
What if Boston were to be known for the way the Christian community works together? As a city where people pray? As a place where love is displayed?
If you’re intrigued by this, I’d encourage you to listen to the short message that I shared on Easter at the first Awaken Winchester service.
We all cry out for revival but don’t realize that what brings revival is repentance. Two weeks ago, Dr. Paul Jehle gave a lecture on the spiritual history of Massachusetts – he said that the Great Awakening was a direct result of the repentance that happened after the Salem witch trials.
Above: Pastors and leaders gathering to pray for Boston at the New England Regional Leaders meeting
I’m convinced that God wants to bring revival to Boston, we’re not ready for it. Our light shines brightest when we extinguish the darkness, so my prayer is for conviction and changed hearts, that we might be capable for the revival God seeks to pour out.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, may we arise and shine, so that the glory of the Lord can come upon us, that Boston might be awakened to its destiny as a city on a hill and a light to the nations.
Below: A photo of His Eminence Sean O’Malley of the Boston Catholic Archdiocese and His Eminence Methodios of the Metropolitan of Boston of the Greek Orthodox Church joining together to light the first candle of Easter night. Photo taken by Alexander Mavradis.
Lighting the Night
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:14-15)
In 1630, as the Puritans were traveling to America, John Winthrop proclaimed that their future community would be a city on a hill, a light for the world to see true Christian charity. Last Sunday evening, a group of us had a chance to step into Boston’s inheritance that John Winthrop spoke of.
Gathering at the gazebo in Boston Common, seven bundled kingdom warriors came bearing candles. We huddled together to strike the matches and set the wicks alight. Although the frigid night air swirled around us and tried to snuff our lights out, Christ Otto found a few discarded cups to guard the light from the harsh wind, and soon scents of hot chocolate and coffee wafted around us like scented candles.
We tromped through the snow bearing torches of these Starbucks cups, feeling the crusty ice crunching beneath our feet. We tread confidently, carrying the same good news of great joy for all the people as the angel that bore the news of Jesus’ birth over 2,000 years ago (Luke 2:10).
This was a different sort of prayer walk. Rather than the usual standing and interceding together, we found ourselves singing carols, declaring Christ’s reign in this place. “Joy to the world, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her king!…Come and adore him, born the king of angels. Oh come let us adore him.”
What impressed me most was the number of people who came to us to ask what we were doing. Passers-by stopped their conversations to listen and take it in, despite our lack of practice and my mumbling of the lyrics. We were blessed by the joy on stranger’s faces and cheery calls of “Merry Christmas.”
We traveled to a street deemed the combat zone of Boston, known for its crime, prostitution, and drug trafficking. We spoke prayers aloud, then continued singing. A man on the street came up to us with a tear in his eye. “I don’t know when I have heard people singing Christmas carols before.” We stopped and prayed with him in the dark. He was touched by us, as we with him.
The thought came to me: This is the way it’s supposed to be. When Christ’s light shines, people come to see. They can’t help but pause from their hurried lives to watch, to listen, and to soak up the love that lights the night.
My friend Christ Otto told me later that this was one of the most significant evenings of his time in Boston. This says a lot, because Christ has been laboring in Boston for nearing six years.
And so we sing, holding up His illuminating beam in our hands and hearts, declaring the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light. We band together, joining our distinct lights as one until the day when the city of Boston does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of the Lord will give it light, and the Lamb its lamp, and the nations walk by its light. (Revelation 21:23).