Do you see living in New Orleans as fulfilling your purpose or simply a chore? An adventure or a calling?
Our city offers much beauty through its unique culture, fantastic cuisine, and friendly neighbors. New Orleans is a fun place—always ready to celebrate. But there is deep brokenness in neighborhoods. We often let problems and potholes steal our attention and our joy. Our own temporal struggles and frustrations can divert our eyes from the spiritual needs around us. At times, even a good thing like enjoying our city’s culture can take precedence over people. If we aren’t careful, we can forget our purpose for being here—our calling to love our neighbors and to introduce them to the Gospel.
How can we keep our focus on our Gospel purpose? Jesus provided a great example in Matthew 23:37-39. There we find Jesus lamenting over Jerusalem. Jesus was not fretting about the Temple (religious matters), the Pool of Siloam (daily needs), the Festival of Weeks (culture), or even the Roman occupation (politics). His lament is for the lostness of the people and ours should be too.
Paul called the members of the church at Corinth—living in a city not unlike ours—to be ministers of reconciliation and ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:11-21). As Gospel ambassadors, our goal is to introduce those outside the kingdom to Jesus. We can’t be stewards of that hope by hiding away in our homes. We must get out in our community to make Him known.
Are you willing to immerse yourself in this city and risk your heart by loving your neighbors the way Jesus loves? Are you willing to view your time here as a calling to God’s mission?