(My current read- a special Austin connection!)
For I will give to the people purified lips,
that all of them may call on the name of the LORD,
to serve Him shoulder to shoulder.
Zephaniah 3:9 (NASB)
I will make them and the places around my hill a blessing.
And I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing.
And the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase,
and they shall be secure in their land. And they shall know that I am the LORD, when
I break the bars of their yoke, and deliver them from the hand of those who enslaved them.
Ezekiel 34:26-27 (ESV)
And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before
all the nations of the earth who shall hear of the good that I do for them. They shall
fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.
Jeremiah 33:9 (ESV)
It is funny to think that I actually grew up in 2 major cities of influence in our nation- Detroit (auto capital of the world) and Washington DC (Nation's Capital- lived here age 5-age 12), okay I also did spend 13 years in sweet Austin, Texas (music capital). It opens my heart to see God wants me in the city. There is a beautiful purpose, greater than sport and career, for being here.
Becoming a part of the Redemption Hill church has stirred up my desire to get connected in our city. I desire to find where the Lord is tugging at my heart to plug in. When I walk the streets around the National mall, sit quietly on the metro, or even wait in the grocery line, I feel the intensity of the need to LOVE. I see people who need just simply a hug and a person to listen to their story- to connect with, to feel encouraged.
Within the RHC Fellows program, we are reading FOR THE CITY this month. I can't put the book down, as it ignites a fire in you. A CHURCH FOR THE CITY SERVES THE CITY (pg 105). God's heart is for the cities and the cultures of people in those cities- and we as the church are to cultivate the well being of the city- not just to bless the city, but for the very health of the church.(pg 101-102, Darrin Patrick).
As I read today a few things stood out: DON'T UNDERESTIMATE the power of prayer. DO pray often for your neighborhood (pg 99). DO live distinct but be engaged, seeking the flourishing of your city. Darrin Patrick shares that in Jeremiah 29:5-7, God spoke to Jeremiah and instructed his people to LOVE the city.
Do we REALLY LOVE our city? Or do we just strive daily on a solo mission, focused on our personal agendas? In Zephaniah 3:9 it reminds us to be obedient in our work shoulder to shoulder in one accord while Jeremiah 33:9 paints this beautiful picture of a city of joy and prosperity. What are we doing to see prosperity in DC, to see people come to know our loving God, to see the brokenness be turned to JOY?
I am not sure what the awesome Lord has planned, as I find my place to serve and love others. I do know y'all can join me on the first step- PRAYER. Praying for the city, our neighborhood- because we are just a messenger of the good news, God has the power to save. THIS IS GOING TO BE EXCITING!