Here it is: September 11, 2012. We arrived in Boston 10 days ago. More specifically, we moved into Newton 10 days ago. Newton has about 80,000 residents, covers an area of 18.3 square miles, and is the home of Boston College. The city is comprised of fourteen villages, and the one we have moved into is called Nonantum. Nonantum sits along the Charles River, and its name is from an Indian word for rejoicing. Our prayer is that many of the people here will come to rejoice in our Lord Jesus Christ. Nonantum has a predominantly Italian population, and even has its own unique dialect. The two other families with us moved in the villages of Newtonville and Oak Hill.
We all made it here safely with our worldly possessions and were met by teams of volunteers who helped us move everything from the trucks into our new homes. Since then, the extended family members who made the long road trip with us have gone home and we are becoming settled into what is our new home. We have been meeting our neighbors and other people we happen to come in contact with.
Right now the three men are pursuing job opportunities, with a couple of scheduled interviews this week. Please pray for those.
Meat for a Month
I was reading this morning from Numbers 11, where the Israelites complain about wanting meat to eat. The LORD then promises meat for a whole month “until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the LORD who is among you…” (v. 20). Moses then questions how there will be meat for hundreds of thousands of people for a whole month. The LORD’s reply is v. 23: “Is the LORD’s hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.” V. 24 then says very simply, “So Moses went out and told the people the words of the LORD.” The rest of this chapter bears witness that the LORD sent the Israelites more quail than then could handle, and with it sent a great plague for their rejection of him and his provision. Indeed, the word of the LORD came true for them.
Is the LORD’s Hand Shortened?
We have asked by many why we would move here to plant a church. There are so many reasons to think that Christ Community Church cannot come into existence: It is too expensive to live here, Newton is too Jewish, the Greater Boston Area is too post-Christian and anti-Christian, we are not from here, people are to unapproachable and academic and scientific and political and materialistic and atheistic…the list could go on.
But we must respond with the same question of Numbers 11:23—“Is the LORD’s hand shortened?”
Has not Jesus said, “…I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18)? Is God not rich in mercy to make alive together with Christ those who are now dead in their trespasses (Eph. 2:1-10)? Does he not honor the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ to shine the light of the knowledge of the glory of God into the hearts of some of those blinded by the devil—in the same way that he commanded light out of darkness when he created the universe (2 Cor. 4:1-6)?
No, the LORD’s hand is not shortened. The Keunes, the Mahons, and the Schaefers have put everything at stake that we may see whether the word of the LORD will come true for us or not. It will by your prayers and ours.