I have to tell you that when I saw the front page of today’s paper I thought, “It’s working!” because there, above the fold, was a headline that read: “Crime down as sales soar.” What I meant was, “It’s working: the Kingdom of Heaven is coming to Richmond, Virginia!” because crime was down and sales were soaring (I was a little disappointed when I read the article to find it referred only to gun sales; the picture below the fold had led me to believe the headline referred to Black Friday retail sales. But when I read that article—“Bargain Hunt”—I was pleased to learn that those sales have also been strong. In fact, consumers seem to be more confident about the economy getting better than they have for the past decade).
I’m not sure that’s how I should measure the success of this year-long, every-member mission trip, and it’s possible that First Baptist Church had nothing to do with the drop in the crime rate or the spike in consumer confidence, but it was—in fact—my first thought: that when you get this many people working together and praying together for Metropolitan Richmond good things are bound to happen.
I believe that’s true no matter what the headlines say. Good things are happening in Metropolitan Richmond, and First Baptist Church is part of the reason. When God’s people begin looking for ways to put God’s love into action, it makes a difference.
It is making a difference.
I don’t know how you will choose to bring heaven to earth today. Maybe you’ll do your part to stimulate the local economy by shopping for Christmas gifts (smile). Whatever it is, do it with the confidence that God loves the place you live, the place you call home, and let that love flow through you to the people you encounter today.
Even if you have to go to the mall to do it.