…“Oh, how my soul praises the Lord. …His mighty arm has done tremendous things! He has scattered the proud and haughty ones. He has brought down princes from their thrones and exalted the humble.”
— LUKE 1:46–52 (NLT)
Perhaps you’ve seen the big Atlas statue in front of the Rockefeller Center. Did you know that directly across the street is a church? On one side of the street is a tribute to man’s strength, industry and self-sufficiency; on the other is an image of Jesus atop an open door, welcoming one and all to his grace and into a community of forgiven and transformed men and women “spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity” (C.S. Lewis).
Another contrast is the Rockefeller estate: part art collection, architectural marvel and story of three generations of very wealthy and important people. It sits on the east side of the Hudson River on a high hill, across from the first Alliance school, Nyack College!
At the Rockefeller estate, our learned tour guide pointed out the story of the family and art history — things that were clearly meant to impress us. At the college, however, it was a third-year nursing student who told us how amazed she was by the character of the Alliance missionaries in residence, and how important the spiritual life practices were at the school.
Simple, straightforward thought: the legacy of the school was actually far more impressive than all we had seen on the other side of the river! There is a legacy of thousands of trained people who went on to give the Gospel treasure across our continent and among the nations, which has led to other nations carrying it still further on. Incredible harvest!
However humble we may feel our efforts are in light of other contemporary empires of glimmering power, technology or cultural influence, remember that God is at work amongst his people. It is through us, he is building his eternal Kingdom.
1. While human effort expires, God’s work is continuous. What part of my life is a tribute to his work within me?
2. What does my spiritual life look like right now? Am I carrying the world on my shoulders like Atlas, or have I entered through Jesus’ door of rest?
Mike Linnen, C&MA’s Director of Seamless Link, served as a pastor in an Alliance church in Ottawa for 11 years, and as the District Missions Consultant for the churches of the Eastern Canadian District for five years. He is married to Michelle and lives in Oshawa, ON with their two sons, Christopher and Nicholas.
Hey Mike! Great words and an awesome reminder of the power of the church indwell es by the Spirit of Jesus. It’s so good to know that we stand on the shoulders of saints who had a vision to change the world by Christ’s indwelling power and through His gospel.