June 3, 2020
'Let Us Not Love in Word or Talk But in Deed and in Truth'
As you hear the biblical call to love our neighbors with the light and love of Christ, many of you want to know what we are already doing. I want to introduce you to our Support the Cities initiative. I am profoundly thankful for the leadership of Nick Stromwall and Pastor Ming-Jinn Tong and many others who have used their God-given skills to spearhead this initiative. They are showing us that pro-life is also pro-love in the sense of 1 John 3:17–18.
But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
We certainly see people in need in our cities. Some of them are brothers and sisters in Christ; all of them are people made in the image of God. On Saturday, I was on Lake Street at Midtown Global Market. In addition to the clean-up effort, we started a pop-up grocery store. CityJoy brought five tons of food over from Jericho Road Ministries. And then tons more food, diapers, and other goods were donated and distributed. For example, Support the Cities received a single donation of $15,000 worth of diapers from a donor in St. Cloud.
Support the Cities currently has a three-step plan for doing both emergency relief and development.
Stage 1: The Temporary Work of Cleaning Up and Emergency Food Distribution
As of today, we believe that most of the debris cleanup is done.
Stage 2: The Bridge Work Over the Summer
Stage 2 is an organized, consistent food distribution process. Support the Cities is trying to raise $600,000 in order to be the bridge for grocery stores in the neighborhood. They want to buy out the inventory of grocery stores and distribute the food for free throughout June, July, and August. People will get the food they need and grocery stores will be able to stay financially viable while they rebuild.
Stage 3: The Rebuilding Work
The Lake Street Council has raised over 2 million dollars to get all the businesses back on Lake Street (perhaps by September).
Support the Cities is one practical way to get involved as a church. To find out more, go to their website: supportthecities.com.
Your campus pastors will also have ideas of what you can do in your own communities and on your own campus. Let’s all look for ways to address what hate has torn down by rebuilding it with the love of Christ so that all can see that Christ is the singular hope for our Cities.