by Ryan Taylor
About Ryan: Ryan is an Upper East Side Pastor at Apostles Church in New York City. Prior to joining Apostles, Ryan worked in the Investment Banking Division of Bear Stearns and attended Indiana University. Ryan is married to Katelyn, who leads Apostles’ Upper East Side worship team and was a featured vocalist on their debut album, Love Came Through. Ryan and Katelyn met in NYC and live on the Upper East Side, where they have the privilege of living on mission with those in their community. For more, see here.
New York is not a city that naturally reinforces hope in the God of the Bible. Yet those that have been graciously bestowed with a “gospel lens” through which to interpret it grasp that Christ’s Second Advent and consummating redemption of all things is the ultimate hope for our city. Whether it’s poverty, racial tension, loneliness, the uncertain future of the unborn, sex slavery, or any other brokenness that pervades our boroughs, a gospel lens lets the Christian look to and hope in God’s promised justice – his making right all things through his Son.
Nahum had the privilege of announcing God’s good news to Judah that justice, relief, and restoration, were on the way. He announced with full confidence that the present state of oppression by the enemies of God, in this case Assyria, would soon be over because God had promised to liberate his people:
“The scatterer has come up against you. Man the ramparts; watch the road; dress for battle; collect all your strength. For the LORD is restoring the majesty of Jacob as the majesty of Israel, for plunderers have plundered them and ruined their branches.” – Nahum 2:1-2 ESV
Nahum had the great privilege and responsibility of announcing that the God who is “great in power”  would one day pour out his wrath on the enemies of God that oppressed his people  and provide refuge for all who would seek it in him .
Today, as Christians in New York we have the same great privilege and responsibility to announce God’s promised hope, the Second Advent of Jesus. Our city aches to hear the good and unshakably true declaration that God himself has set a day when he will right every wrong. And all those that stand with and in him will be blessed and ushered into eternal intimate relationship with God himself .
God, May we as your people, armed with the truth and sufficiency of your Word, boldly declare hope and coming freedom to our neighbors, co-workers, friends and family that have yet to embrace the King of kings and Lord of lords. This Advent would we not be bashful or ashamed that our highest hope is in You and the return of the Christ. Lord, pour your Spirit generously into us, as you have promised , that we might delight in you supremely and announce your gospel invitation boldly. Amen.