By Kathy Lovin, Deacon
In one of Rankin’s recent sermons he told us that pollster George Barna’s examination of societal trends and attitudes has led him to a conclusion: there’s virtually no difference between the lives of Christians and non-Christians.
Ouch! That hits pretty hard. That’s me he’s talking about.
As people who are created for and invited to commune with God now and always, we’re called to do life differently. As Christians, we’re set apart and marked out for something else, something eternal.
Ideally, when we do life differently, it should bring honor and glory to our Heavenly Father and point others to Him.
I can’t think of a better way to do that than to set aside whatever else we may be doing on Saturday, July 28, and participate in Serve the City.
What is Serve the City, you ask? Coordinated by Hope for LA, the local mercy and justice arm of Pacific Crossroads, Serve the City is a day-long event where we serve Los Angeles by loving every nook and cranny of it.
We’ll be teaching inner-city kids how to surf, sorting and packing at the LA Food Bank, painting a center for veterans at risk for homelessness, serving breakfast to families at the Ronald McDonald House, gardening at a nonprofit community center, and so much more.
In fact, 28 area churches are fanning out to do nearly 100 projects all in an effort to love this city the way Jesus loves it.
For the last four years I’ve been privileged to be a part of Serve the City. Each year, I’ve led a project to provide fellowship and comfort to seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This Serve the City project led to the creation of the Hope for LA service opportunity that I lead every Sunday, called Loving the Wise, serving seniors at the Santa Monica Convalescent Center.
Every week, our goal is to show each resident the love of Jesus through the simple act of singing hymns or praying together, making a craft, playing a game, doing a manicure, or just sitting quietly beside them and holding their hand.
For Serve the City this year, I’m letting someone else lead the service project with seniors so I can work with an animal rescue group called Fast Friends. They help greyhounds who have retired from the track in Tijuana find a safe, happy home where they can be loved. Homeless animals are one of the many environmental problems in our city.
I’m doing it partly for the animals (I’m an animal lover), but also for the people who regularly give of themselves for these dogs. I want them to know that caring for God’s creation honors Him and we support their efforts.
Of course, I also want to earn the opportunity to tell them the rest of God’s great love story, and Serve the City provides that opening, which I’m excited to take.
As Christians, if we believe that our lives should look and be different, then Serve the City is a natural fit.
So come – paint a shelter, serve a meal, plant a garden, clean a school. Sign up for something today so you can be part of this once-a-year love fest! Show Los Angeles who you are in Christ: love the city by serving it.
Kathy Lovin works for The Salvation Army and is a deacon at Pacific Crossroads Church.
To sign up for a Serve the City project, click here.
Matthew 5:3-4 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Selected by Deborah Chi, Project Leader. Her thoughts:
“I used to wonder, was I truly blessed according to the Sermon on the Mount? For what exactly does ‘the poor in spirit’ or ‘those who mourn’ mean? Having the upbringing as a pastors’ kid, I always knew how much I fell short against God’s standard. I knew I was imperfect and poor in spirit. But how was that blessed? But it says in here, when we are poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is ours. And if we mourn, we will be comforted. The Sermon on the Mount reminds us that being less is being blessed. When we are aware of our humanity and how much we need, we will truly be considered blessed.”
Click here to learn more about our scripture memory challenge.
Why do we call this Wednesday at 4 pm? The inspiration came from the following quote, by one of our favorite authors:
"God, or no-God. [Sex] or blowing your brains out. Whereas and in fact my problem is how to live from one ordinary minute to the next on a Wednesday afternoon."
Walker Percy, The Last Gentleman
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