It's taken me a couple of days to recover, but not in a bad way. Have you ever done something that required a ton of effort, involved lots of people and pushed you to your limits? Doesn't it feel great? As the inimitable George Peppard used to say on the A-Team, "I love it when a plan comes together!"
And come together is exactly what happened last Saturday when the 1 By Youth day of service came to the Austin and West Garfield neighborhoods of Chicago. The efforts of dozens of people culminated in a day where over 600 volunteers worked on nearly 100 sites where they painted, landscaped, cleaned, repaired and built. Christian teens and their adult leaders made a remarkable difference in a single day and showed a distressed neighborhood what the love of Jesus looks like. Click here and see for yourself what it looks like when Jesus shows up.
It was a blessing beyond words to be a part of something so meaningful. This is what church is all about. Out of the seats and into the streets, as they say. And we went into the streets. Streets that just the day before...and I'm guessing the day after...were populated by drug dealers and gangstas. But on Saturday, May 7, 2011 it was the scene of harmony and unity. Youth groups of all types, black, white, Hispanic and Asian filled the streets with the love of Jesus and in that light darkness could not stand. There was even one man who had been cursing us from a distance earlier in the day then joined us for the block party and shared in our meal. The power of Christ's love is overwhelming that way!
There is power in the love of Jesus Christ. Power to change lives for eternity. We dare not lock that power in a building or limit it to the occasional service event. As I write this Christians are pouring into the Southern states to clean up after the tornadoes there. Christians are poised and waiting to help those affected by the Mississippi River flooding. Christians are joining me on a mission to Africa in August to help orphans and blind children. The Church is the Body of Christ and you are part of that body. Come join us and see amazing things for yourself. God never intended for his body to be a pew potato!