The following remarks were shared by Mark Revell, ReachGlobal Budapest City Team Leader, on Friday, August 1 2014 at the opening of the coffeehouse in Budapest:
We can see messages and images of physical renewal all around us today in the neighborhood. Buildings and public spaces are being rehabilitated. The park next door is becoming a truly beautiful place. The new subway line is pumping new lifeblood into the community. Formerly deserted retail spaces are now filling with new businesses. The neighborhood has a new sense of hope, because things are renewing on the outside.
But there is a problem with renewal that only comes on the outside, because the truth is that renewed buildings will one day fall again into disrepair. Graffiti may, unfortunately, decorate the crisp clean walls of the Metro4. New businesses may one day close their doors. All those things which brought such hope will eventually disappoint.
We know that just as this city is in need of outward, physical renewal, the need for spiritual renewal is much greater. Hearts are cold; marriages, families, and lives are broken; hope is lost and disappointment has left its mark on the lives of those living around us, and we can see it on their faces. But if the physical, outward renewal that initially brings so much hope will one day disappoint, what message do we have for those in need of inner, spiritual renewal?
The biblical writer Ezekiel was acquainted with broken, disappointed, hopeless people. And speaking as God's prophet, he wrote: "I will give you a new heart, I will put a new spirit in you. I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my ways." We have found that there is a hope that does not disappoint. It comes not from renewal on the outside, but by renewal on the inside. It comes not from fresh paint or new tile, nor from a new dress, a fresh hairstyle, a change in job or a new spouse. This kind of lasting renewal is what Ezekiel wrote about when he spoke about trading a heart of stone for a heart of flesh.
Our opportunity in this unique season here in this community is to share stories and images of that true spiritual renewal, that inner renewal. Our opportunity is to be modern day prophets hope, following the example of Ezekiel and Isaiah and Jeremiah, speaking boldly of a true and lasting Hope, a Hope which does not, will not, cannot disappoint. A hope and a future which comes only through a restored relationship with Creator God through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
And the coffeehouse is committed to that purpose, to being a place where the aroma of coffee meets the fragrance of Jesus Christ. It is for that reason that we created this space, it is for that reason that we gather here tonight to celebrate what God has done in providing everything that was necessary for it to come into existence, and it is for that reason that we will pray to dedicate this space to God's glory and for the advancement of the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ.