My Jerusalem April 2, 2022

Romans 12:9-13 (MSG) Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

For most parts of the country this week, the temperature dropped, but not gradually. It dropped like we just saw a patrol car and we were going fifty miles over the speed limit! If you are like me, you still refuse to turn on the heat, because it is just going to be hot again by the weekend. My kids and I have been walking around the house in hoodies. My husband is sleeping during the day (he is on third shift) so he does not get to enjoy the crisp fall weather during the day. By my request he has taken the weekend off. Why? So that we can serve as a family, with our church, in our community.

My city has an ministry that is called Way 2 Serve. Twice a year they hold an event called My Jerusalem, taken from the book of Nehemiah. Churches, small groups and individuals gather and are sent out to do home repairs in our city. I have been doing it with who ever I could get to go with me for a few years now. The past few times we have been getting together to do it with our church. It is a wonderful way to put in to practice the above scripture.

The Amplified Bible says this, “Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor; never lagging behind in diligence; aglow in the Spirit, enthusiastically serving the Lord; constantly rejoicing in hope [because of our confidence in Christ], steadfast and patient in distress, devoted to prayer [continually seeking wisdom, guidance, and strength], contributing to the needs of God’s people, pursuing [the practice of] hospitality.”

When my husband and I sat down to write the vision for Connect Church we knew people got excited about missions. My husband grew up on the mission field. He lived in Belize for ten years. He saw what it was like for those who came and did short term missions and the expense it was for them to make that trip. It is an opportunity to go into all the world. However, we wanted to make the biggest impact. We needed to start here. So we came up with, “We exist to touch the world through our community.” As a church we do not have to start up programs when great ones are already going on in our city. We joined up with Way 2 Serve.

We are looking forward to repairing a home so that someone can get their home back. We are looking forward to showing genuine love. We do that by taking time off, by getting up early on a Saturday, by braving this cold snap and putting our hands to the needs of people. People need to know that they are seen. They need to know that they are loved. There have been times that we did not get to meet the home owner. There have been times when I spent all day with them because they had to tear down to the jousts to get the rot out. Every project is different. The heart is the same. We are honoring each other. Enthusiastically serving and practicing hospitality. We get to do this! How can you get burned out by making the biggest impact in someone’s life?!

Father, I thank you for the love that you have shown us by sending your only Son to die for us. Let us continue to show love for others in doing good to those who are in need. Thank you for gifting us with the ability to do it with a glad heart. Let this weekend glorify You. Our heart is to bring people closer to you. Let us be the hands and feet that shows your love and mercy. Lead us. We rejoice in hope because of our confident trust in Christ Jesus. We thank you for the impact that we will make this weekend. Let your love flow through us. We thank you for the leading of the Holy Spirit and wisdom on how to accomplish the tasks before us. We praise you for giving each one of us and small part to do something big together. Thank you for the church body that you have planted us into. We strengthen each other to do the work of the ministry. Let us walk boldly as ministers of reconciliation this weekend. In Jesus Name, Amen.

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