When teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus declared to the Father, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10). His prayer was an invitation for redemption – but it was also a bit of a cliffhanger.
How does a community go from brokenness to redeemed as it is in heaven? What does it look like for those words to become flesh? While I do not have a complete answer, I do believe the Lord has charged churches with a divine call to act as catalysts for this transformational process.
Isaiah 58:12 says:
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in. (NRSV)
Here is a beautiful portrait of the Church. What would happen if every follower of Christ was known as a "repairer" and "restorer" of his or her street? Brick by brick – person by person, each church community contains a unique capacity to impact its surroundings in countless ways. By investing in relationships across denominational and cultural lines, adopting a local school, advocating for just laws and committing to prison ministry (to name a few), this legacy of hope and engagement could transform Texas and beyond.
As Texas Baptists' Hunger and Care Specialist, I have the privilege of having a front row seat as Texas Baptist churches delve into this journey of community transformation. One central way churches engage in this work is through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering. The Hunger Offering rallies churches to overcome the cycle of poverty in Texas and around the globe. The Hunger Offering not only prioritizes immediate relief, but also lends support to ministries engaged in community development. Heaven is coming to earth in the love and work of numerous ministries, such as Christian Women's Job Corps in Texas and the Nepal Baptist's Skills Development program – both equipping individuals with necessary tools to provide for their families.
Supporting the Hunger Offering is one way to join hands across the Texas Baptist community to pursue holistic restoration for local and distant neighbors, but the story does not end there.
It is time to dream together and see God's hope touch down in our streets. How can your church partner with our Lord's prayer? How can we put on the love of Christ in our communities – to repair breaches and restore relationships?
As we move together toward our unique and collective calling, please let me know if I can help by providing ministry ideas, connecting you with other churches and organizations, or encouraging you along your journey.