Thank you to Reverend Ralph Kee of Greater Boston Church Planting Cooperative for sharing this message about how he sees God at work in Boston as we begin 2012
I write this prayer letter on New Year’s Day. I just returned from Cambridge and today’s Sunday worship, a service that brought together 16 Cambridge churches in Cambridge’s Central Square. About 800 people in attendance, standing all around the edges of the main floor and balcony and even jamming the foyer. I could hardly contain my emotions; the many components of today’s service displayed hopes being fulfilled that I’ve had for Cambridge (and all of Greater Boston) for 40 years.
In my mind, my wife Joanne possibly gave her life for Cambridge: when we were invited by a tiny church remnant to start a new church in Cambridge in 1982, she said, “Ralph, yes, we should start a church there,” even though church planting there would put even further emotional stress upon her while she was fighting her ovarian cancer. Cambridge desperately needed expanded gospel ministry and gospel-preaching churches, so we need to accept the invitation, Joanne said. As you probably know, Joanne died in 1984. So Cambridge, just over the Charles River from Boston, has long been dear to my heart. My father, in fact, grew up in Cambridge, so I used to come down from NH as a child to visit relatives.
So this first day of 2012, this New Year’s Day, dominated by the incredible forwardlookingness of this morning’s experience, is a day for me filled with great optimism that 2012 will be unusually fruitful as to gospel ministry in Greater Boston and beyond.
So, as I say, this is the moment! When Monet started painting, six others were also painting in “Monet’s” style, I heard Steve Martin say in a TV interview last evening. The painters didn’t know each other (I guess), and each thought he by himself had come up with the new style. That’s the way history works. Several parties, independently and at the same time, innovate and enact similar things, and history chooses one as the originator. It’s only “Monet’s style” because history calls it that, not that it was his alone initially. History is not so much the originator as is “the moment” that is the originator.
The moment has come! 2012 is here and God’s moment for Boston has come. But God’s moment historically always requires human agency. When the moment comes, it doesn’t matter who originates. What matters is that the moment has been grasped and historical change happens. Several, perhaps lots, of ministry folk have rather independently been thinking new things ministry-wise as far as Greater Boston is concerned, and now the moment has come for Greater Boston to surge ahead.
2012 is the moment. Please pray that Greater Boston won’t miss the moment, but that 12 months from now we will all be astounded at all that He has done in this spiritually needy metropolis. A year from today, I want to praise God that 2012 has been the most productive year, Gospel-wise, of our lifetimes.