Tomorrow we kick off our 7th RestoreDC weekend as a church. As of this morning, 93 people from Restoration City have signed up for 150 different shifts with our 9 partner organizations. The work we will do over the next three days is a really big deal for our partners who are counting on us. I also want to make sure they’re a big deal for us as a church.
They say familiarity breeds contempt. I don’t think there’s much chance of that with RestoreDC but I am concerned that regularity might breed indifference. Not even a lack of participation, just a lack of excitement for what God is doing. Kind of a been there, done that, got the t-shirt (literally!) attitude.
That’s why I’m praying God will give us all fresh excitement for RestoreDC. I’m praying we will serve with joy and a desire to bless our community. This is one of the most tangible ways we live out our plumbline to be an undeniable positive as a church. We want to live in such a way that our community is grateful for our presence even if they don’t embrace our theology. We want DC to be better because Restoration City exists.
So, as we head into this weekend, I want to anchor all of us in some texts that fuel my passion for RestoreDC:
- “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” – Jeremiah 29:7
- “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
- “And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” – Isaiah 58:12
- “They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.” – Isaiah 61:4
- “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
I honestly can’t wait for this weekend. Let’s pray today that God will exceed all of our expectations over the next three days!
Our family had the best time this past Saturday as we joined with this incredible group of people to work a yard sale at Community Lodgings, one of nine RestoreDC partners throughout the city. We were able to raise some money for the great work Community Lodgings does in transitioning families from homelessness to self-sufficiency and we were able help resident in the Chirilagua neighborhood get some much needed household items at great prices. I loved knowing similar things were happening at 8 other partners around the city. All together over a hundred people from Restoration City covered over 165 shifts from Thursday evening – Sunday afternoon.
Whenever we go into one of our RestoreDC weekends, I’m reminded of two passages in Isaiah that capture so much of what we’re asking God to do. Isaiah 58:12 says, “And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” And Isaiah 61:4 goes on to say, “They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.” Oh, how I long for us to be the restorers of this city. How I long for us to shine the light of Jesus into the darkness of poverty, homelessness, and hopelessness. How I long for our church to have an undeniably positive impact on the community around us….to be a beacon of hope and an unpost of freedom for those who need it. And I pray we do it all in a way that glorifies God, not ourselves. Matthew 5:16 makes it really clear that we should serve in such a way that God gets all the credit, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
When our hearts beat for the restoration of this city and for the glory of God, we won’t be content with just doing RestoreDC two weekends a year. That’s our deepest desire for RestoreDC – that it will be a catalyst to ongoing service throughout the year. So, if you’re wondering what to do now that RestoreDC is over, the answer is simple. Go to our website and get information about our external partners, see what their needs are and get involved!
I love the desire for restoration that underlies everything we do at Restoration City. I’m praying we will all embody this more and more by the grace of God.