A Hopeful Journey in Racial Reconcilation and
by Scott Roley with James Isaac Elliott
God's Neighborhood is chiefly a journey. Scott Roley, once a rising contemporary Christian music artist and song writer, reaches back to his childhood, moves us through his growing up years and on into his adult years, asking us to join him on a life journey, a spiritual journey. He pauses along the way, asking the questions, "What providence placed me here? What does God want me to learn?"
Roley pens it best, "God's Neighborhood is about understanding and participating in Christian community. It describes a response to the biblical mandate of care for the poor." In reading God's Neighborhood, we are asked to join the author as he leaves his life of privilege, then seeks church ministry, and eventually moves into a disadvantaged neighborhood. There, we learn with him what "loving your neighbor" actually means. What it means with feet and hands, namely community development and racial reconciliation.
"We must look into the eyes of poverty," Roley exhorts, "and examine the heart, soul, and psyche of it. People aren't just in need of drug rehab, a roof over their head or decent food to eat. They also require the dignity of true and relevant education, affordable health care, and living wage opportunities." Roley continues, "The journey of our hearts into racial reconciliation and community renewal from Hard Bargain to Mount Hope is a moment-to-moment decision to place faith and trust in Christ. It is why we strive for the renewal of our streets, rehabilitation for our crumbling homes and lives, the revival of real relationships among the least and the lost, and redemption for all through our Savior Jesus."
Roley invites us to share the same journey, a journey that exemplifies Christian hope in caring for the disinherited and renewing our communities, one neighborhood at a time.