I am drawn to the Gospel because of the density of the stories and teaching, and I am consistently enthralled with Jesus’s love and service to the marginalized. Of course Jesus interacted with priests, leaders, and the wealthy, but it is obvious that Jesus intended to interact with and engage with those less fortunate. Likewise, the marginalized are drawn to Jesus as these same stories demonstrate people’s motivation to reach out to Jesus (digging holes in roofs, climbing trees, pressing forward in crowds to touch cloaks).
Jesus provides us direction to continue this ministry by asking us to love our neighbors (Luke 10:30-37) and the Love Arlington small group kicked off an effort to do this last spring. I was surprised by the breadth and depth of the needs of our marginalized community even though Arlington is a wealthy and sophisticated town. However, I was personally amazed and thankful for the level of conviction and love our small group members demonstrated.
We reached out to the marginalized, they responded warmly and we had the opportunity to love and serve the elderly, homeless, ex-offenders, the trafficked, and the hungry. We felt God guiding our efforts and facilitating interactions with the community. Some moments particularly struck me:
- Love Arlington folks warmly embracing the elderly – talking, praying, and singing together
- Establishing relationships with the homeless and supporting their journey to securing subsidized housing
- Refreshing and cleaning a drop in center serving trafficked youth to let them know they are important and loved
- Brokering introductions between the jobless and the local business community
- Being invited to hang out and spend time with where the homeless gather because we were accepted as friends
We intended to serve and pour out love, but we oftentimes felt like the recipients of warmth and grace. Serving together as Love Arlington also provided an unparalleled opportunity to develop relationships with each other and we are thankful for the new friendships.
I believe we are called and encouraged to try and live out God’s kingdom on earth. In fact, God may be asking our assistance in helping keep appointments for Him. Serving the local community through outreach is an opportunity to make a small contribution to helping the marginalized and it will also strengthen your connection to God by surrendering yourself to his will.
We look forward to a new semester of growth and opportunity this fall. Why not join us?
Love Arlington, Weds 7.30pm – sign up here!