Seek the Peace of the City

Vancouver has what you might call an 'improvisational air.'  The city makes itself up as it goes along.  What’s fresh about this place, a kind of cultural and economic tabula rasa has provided for some highly unstable outcomes.  
~ Author Timothy Taylor.
Search for a theology as big as the city where you find the Creator, Redeemer, and Transformer
~ Dr. Ray Bakke

How does God see the City? How do we understand what it means to Seek the Peace of the City? Dr. Ray Bakke addressed these questions beginning with Genesis through to Revelation at the recent Pastor's Conference at Regent College. Having a theology of the city versus a mission to the city will shape our capacity to be motivated from a perspective that overflows with love and hope. I wrote the poem Seek the Peace of the City as my reminder that in order to see through God's lens it helps to move beyond the familiar.

Seek the Peace of the City

Before the city is lost to the real state few
and foundations crumble as the cranes
kiss mountains and mess with the view
as builders pervade--density in their veins,

we sit and savour our coffee locale
in a culture wrapped in beans and nature
with no chart, or map to any familiar space
the ghosts of architects loom over our fate.

And this endless wording like rezoning
lack of supply and demand for detached
dwellings - leaves us moaning.
as if Van has no heart to be attached.

What lies beyond the power-less and the power,
the open airy natural sophistication
a growing sense of  social isolation –
a second glance, holy light, new music for the hour.

Deborah Phillips

Deborah Phillips serves as Elder at Redemption Church in Vancouver.. Her current reading recommendation is Ray Bakke's 'Theology as Big as the City.'  Deborah is the author of the novel Argonauta – the story of one family's need for home and identity in the midst of cultural upheaval (another reading recommendation).  


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