Let’s spend this summer reflecting on how the Bible continually expands the horizon of our imagination of what’s possible. Followers of Jesus are in need of paradigm shifts that unbox God. Here are a few memorable lines from the New Testament and a hymn.
James writes these brief, sobering words in his epistle: “You do not have, because you do not ask” (4:2). He’s talking about prayer that’s too modest or not even offered. James later exhorts by appealing to Elijah’s prayers: “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit” (5:17-18). Even James, Jesus’ brother, must have needed a paradigm shift to reassess who it was he grew up with!
Consider this verse from one of John Newton’s hymns:
Thou art coming to a King,
large petitions with thee bring,
for his grace and pow’r are such,
none can ever ask too much.
You can’t out-ask God! Paul says God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). When Jesus comes down from the Mount of Transfiguration he encounters some of his disciples trying to help the father of a troubled boy. The father pleads modestly with Jesus: “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus replies, taken aback by the father’s hedged plea, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:22-23). Jesus talks about faith that moves mountains (Mark 11:23), as does Paul (1 Corinthians 13:2). Examples such as these could be multiplied many-fold.
What stories and examples would you add from your own life?
Warm Welcome to Jamie Yoo
Jamie Yoo is joining Redeemer West Side as our next Senior Director of Care and Counseling. As some of you know, Jamie is a West Side member who has participated in the Gotham Fellowship program and has served as a mentor for the West Side Women mentoring program. She has degrees from Barnard and Westminster Theological Seminary where she received a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Counseling. Jamie is married to Paul Yoo, who is our Director of Mercy and Justice and with whom she partnered in the planting of a church in Australia. She has served the local church in pastoral care for many years, counseled at Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation and taught at Westminster Theological Seminary. More recently, Jamie has been overseeing her own counseling practice here in the city. Jamie has a passion for the local church and for pastoral care and is excited to step into the role full-time this September. Please pray for Jamie as she prepares for this next chapter.
- Volunteer for our Vacation Bible School: We are excited to offer Vacation Bible School in person again and we need your help. Happening from July 11 to 15, our children will learn about God and his love for them through skits, Bible lessons, music, games and crafts. We need volunteers to help make every aspect of this “Monumental” week happen, please sign up. If you can’t serve during the week, you can help us set up on the Sunday, July 10.
- Be part of the summer volunteers team: Will you be in NYC this summer? Whether you’re here on a summer internship or have been wanting to see what volunteering might look like, help our vacationing volunteers by joining a team, once a month, meet great people and help to serve your neighbors!
- We are hiring: Do you know anyone who’d be a great fit at Redeemer? We are looking to fill several roles on our team before the end of the year. Check them out and spread the word!
- Pray with Hope for New York: Renew your prayer life this summer by praying for a different community in need each month. Follow Hope for New York’s prayer guide!
- Understand NYC’s most urgent needs!: Have free time? Find a way to volunteer around the city each week. Get to know the most critical needs of Hope for New York’s affiliate partners!