In Isaiah 61: 1-3 the prophet foretells the coming of the Messiah, who will "preach good news to the poor … bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives… and comfort those who mourn." This text takes that view of Christ's ministry and applies it to Christian service in the urban context. The major cities of the world are fascinating places, but they also contain "loneliness and greed and hate," and "crime and slums and lust abound." Just as Christ ministered "through healing touch, through word and cross," so must the church minister the gospel in word and deed throughout the whole world, but especially in the cities. "The City Is Alive" encourages us to be servants in those urban centers, to give Christian hope to the world, and to offer a new song of shalom to its citizens.
Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Any song or testimony about the cries that comes from our nations and cities must be met with confessional statements about the mission of the church as listed here.
Our World Belongs to God, paragraphs 41-43 are explicit and pointed about the mission of the church: “In a world estranged from God, where happiness and peace are offered in many names and millions face confusing choices, we witness—with respect for followers of other ways—to the only one in whose name salvation is found: Jesus Christ.”
Later, Our World Belongs to God, paragraphs 52-54 point to the task of the church in seeking public justice and functioning as a peacemaker: “We call on our governments to work for peace and to restore just relationships. We deplore the spread of weapons in our world and on our streets with the risks they bring and the horrors they threaten…”
The Belhar Confession, section 3 calls the church to be a peacemaker, and section 4 calls the church “to bring about justice and true peace.”
Our Song of Hope, stanza 10 calls the church to seek “the welfare of the people” and to work “against inhuman oppression of humanity.”