Here at Light Up the City, we love to hear the amazing stories of congregations working together to love their cities by serving and caring for the community. Each story is different and it's awesome to hear the way that God is working to reveal himself. This week's blog post is contributed by Grace Lane from Epic Life Church in North Seattle. Grace shares an awesome story of congregations working together to pray and beautify one of the most notorious thoroughfares in Seattle- Aurora Ave (which is right on their doorstep).
On a Sunday in July, North Seattle community members and churches came together for an event called Love Aurora - an opportunity to tangibly demonstrate care and investment in the neighborhood. With regular church services canceled, members headed out to the street in small groups to pick up trash and pray. Last year, using the trash collected on that Sunday, they created an art piece that captures the spirit of the event in a unique way...
Aurora Means Dawn
This picture is created from pieces picked up along Aurora Ave N. Many of the items were discarded as trash - candy wrappers and condoms, bottle caps and bike parts, straws and cigarettes. Other pieces were perhaps just lost - a pacifier, a feather, a journal, a pair of glasses. These fragments comprise the story of Aurora - the good, the bad, the ordinary moments of eating and commuting and waiting. And here, all together, these fragments comprise dawn.
This particular dawn reminds us that Jesus is the kind of God who comes to our city, our streets, our hearts. He is the kind of God who moves into our neighborhood. He is the kind of God who, once here, does not recoil with disgust at our brokenness, does not pass by in disregard of our dormant gifts, does not overlook us because of the darkness we may reside in. He is the kind of God who draws near, who goes precisely to the darkest or most ordinary margins of our lives. He sees us. He touches us. He dwells. His nearness, His touch, His always-abiding-never-leaving presence is working out something miraculous in those margins. It is working out transformation! Illumination! New mercies! Unfailing love! It's working out the KINGDOM of God - where wrongs are righted, where tears are wiped away, where streets are restored, where beauty shines forth!
This is a dawn of hope. This is a dawn of presence. This is a dawn that reminds us that Jesus is taking every discarded disregarded lost and broken part and making ART.
***If your congregations have similar stories, or if you'd like to hear how you can reach out with congregations in your neighborhood to serve the community- please write us.