“To the church in Fort Worth.” That phrase popped into my head this afternoon. Far too often I forget that the Bible was written to specific people living in a specific time. It certainly does apply to my life, but I wasn’t written specifically to me.
The New Testament books are written to the churches in cities like Galatia, Rome, Ephesus, and Philippi. These are geographic locations that had streets, local hangouts, city governments and places to eat. When Paul or John writes to these people he is addressing specific problems that Christians are having in these cities.
This got me thinking. What would a letter written in my day to my city look like? This is the city that I love with the people that I love. What would be included in a letter to the church in Fort Worth?
If I sat down and wrote my letter, it would include hopes and dreams that I believe God has for my city. I would want certain things to change and other things to stay the same. I have certain people in mind when I think about my city, just like Paul and John did. My letter would be different from your letter because your city and people are different from mine.
Each day we have carry the weight of translating the Gospel of peace into a language our students and our city can understand. Because we live in different communities our translations look different. This is the process of contextualization, where we translate the timeless truths of Scripture for a specific people, time and place.
What would you include in your letter? Where is justice needed? What needs aren’t being met? What powers in your community need opposing? Who needs someone to stand in the gap for them?
You are called by God to translate the Gospel for your community. If you don’t, who will? Go ahead, get writing!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LibickHawaiiChristmasPhoto.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]Kevin Libick is a Middle School Pastor living in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Kara and her two cats. He is a novice banjo picker and expert Hawaiian food eater. Kevin loves to connect with other youth workers and equip them to live out their calling in God’s Kingdom. Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @kevinlibick[/author_info] [/author]