Our City

Our City

In 1965, the folk-rock band The Byrds made an adaptation of an ancient biblical passage from King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) popular through their song “Turn, Turn, Turn.

To everything (Turn, Turn, Turn);

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn);

And a time for every purpose, under Heaven.

A time to be born, a time to die;

A time to plant, a time to reap;

A time to kill, a time to heal;

A time to laugh, a time to weep.

To everything (Turn, Turn, Turn);

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn);

And a time for every purpose, under Heaven.

A time to build up, a time to break down;

A time to dance, a time to mourn;

A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together.

To everything (Turn, Turn, Turn);

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn);

And a time for every purpose, under Heaven.

A time to love, a time to hate;

A time of war, a time of peace;

A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing.

To everything (Turn, Turn, Turn);

There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn);

And a time for every purpose, under Heaven.

A time to gain, a time to lose;

A time to rend, a time to sew;

A time for love, a time for hate;

A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.

This song became an anthem for the Boomer generation as they sought to end the Vietnam War. They became so passionate about the atrocities happening an ocean away. The headlines of the time were filled with the daily war report and pictures from protests across our country. They fell victim to only focusing on what was happening overseas, rather than what was happening stateside.

Though this happened over 40 years ago, we too have fallen into the same trap as the young Boomers. Our heartstrings are strummed for the impoverished in India, Liberia, and Paraguay. Our minds are attuned to the social injustices rampant across East Asia and Central Africa. We become enraged with the repeated acts of terror in Europe and the Middle East. All while races are divided, marriages are dissolving, fathers are abandoning their children, lives are being taken, and stomachs are empty not an ocean away, but just a few streets from our own homes.

God intended this world to be so different, but sin entered in. Therefore, He sent His Son to redeem what was lost and established the Way back to His intended design. We the church…disciples…are part of the hands and feet to instill this change. God has not called us to leave an indelible mark that fades over time, but a lasting legacy that survives for generations. Solomon was right, there is “a time to build up, a time to break down…a time to plant, a time to reap…a time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together,” and that time is now, beginning in Our City!

In Acts 17, there was a report going around a great city in Macedonia, Thessalonica. Paul and Silas had just rolled into town, but their Kingdom reputation had preceded them. Oh, that our church, this beacon of light in a dark city, would have the same reputation as Paul and Silas did…from boardroom to classroom to living room…from food pantry to street corner to overpasses…from west to east, from north to south.

Acts 17:6–7 (ESV)

6 “…These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 …saying that there is another king, Jesus.”