Great Cities, Greater Vision
The oddities of my travel schedule have taken me to three of the world’s great cities in the last 18 days. São Paulo, Seoul, and New York City are all receding into snapshots now. The fresh and urgent sense of each metropolis is fading into memory.
Besides the tastes, the colors, the vibrant sounds of each, I remember the almost numbing sense of their sheer size and density: the rolling, single-storied favelas of São Paulo, the thicket of 10,000 suburban apartment towers in Seoul, the faceless backyards of New York as my train rolls toward home.
Who will tell these people that a Savior loved and lived for them? Who will bring His death to life—impressing on 30 million minds the need to be made right with God? Who will penetrate the gated neighborhoods, the locked high-rises, the unfenced but unfriendly suburbs where millions now accept only what comes at them via television or computer screens?
Adventist imagination is required now as never before. Our witness must go where our feet may not be allowed to go, and we are under no less obligation to tell the world because the telling often can’t be done in person. Television, radio, print media, the Internet—each will win its share and all must be employed. We dare not shake the dust of any of the world’s great cities off our feet until we find ourselves kneeling at the feet of the coming One.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem, a city filled with people whom He loved. Now as never before, it’s time for Adventists to weep and plead before the Lord for the great cities of our globe. We must cry out for greater vision, greater imagination in doing the work of witness, and for the stamina that won’t give up when results seem meager or thin.
“Give me Scotland or I die,” John Knox demanded of the Lord 450 years ago. Today, a similar audacity must fill those who carry God’s present-day message of reform and restoration.
“Give us these cities, even if we die in the process,” God’s saints now whisper on their knees. It is a prayer—and a promise—that He cannot refuse to answer.
— Bill Knott