And Jesus Moved into the Neighborhood
“…and Jesus moved into the neighborhood.”
John 1:14 in The Message, a version of Scripture by Eugene Peterson,
Two thousand years ago, Jesus arrived in Galilee.
“But when the time was right, God sent His Son, and a woman gave birth to him” Galatians 4:4
When the perfect time had arrived for His miraculous entry
records say that:
- ½ the children in the Roman Empire died before reaching 10.
- Leprosy, tuberculosis, parasites, abandonment, and starvation abounded.
- Taxes were enormous, and a debtor could be tortured or sold into slavery.
- Women were slaves and trafficked, as were children.
- The Roman Empire was feared and hated.
Fast forward and the time is right again. Those who have Christ in them, the Christians, have an invitation to come to the shores of need now. What has long ailed and stunted our Orange Mound Community has leeched into our surrounding city of Memphis and Shelby County
- Homicides in our city are at a frightening peak, and the highest on record.
- Many of our neighbors are especially vulnerable to the COVID pandemic.
- Children have lost traction in education and are falling alarmingly behind.
- Oppression, depression, addiction, frustration abound this Season.
- Drug abuse, gang crimes, and reckless driving endanger us all.
Is it not the perfect time to send forth His Son in us?
When Jesus walked the shores of the Sea of Galilee, He did not tamper with Caesar and the Roman government. He paid His taxes, fed thousands, healed diseases, served, taught, and sacrificed. He spent very little time in the Temple, and most of His time among the poor and disenfranchised. He touched the sick and brought direction to the lost. He entered the broken neighborhoods, boarded up houses, and crowded living rooms.
He opened our pathway to the Throne Room for everyone’s personal connection to the King of the Universe, The Almighty God, The Father and Creator of All things. Because of that, we in OM can bring our personal issues to the One who soothes the pain, smooths the path, and unravels the suffering. He warms our winters, calms our storms, and brings bounty to our kitchen tables. He does it through the hands and hearts of our volunteers, customers, and supporters.
“In The Roman Empire a father could disown a biological child for any reason, but if he adopted a child, that one could never be disowned.” – Jim Dennison
Our lovely Orange Mound ladies are adopted too. As well, Jesus has adopted many of the children of our community because their fathers have abandoned them. Encouraged by the truth that Jesus is Father to the Fatherless, our mothers and grandmothers have embraced the opportunity to ensure their families of the powerful love of the Savior, who is irresistible and irreplaceable. The ladies and volunteers joyfully live and speak the Gospel daily, and lives have been redeemed, families reunited, and dignity and value restored.
We encourage you to come to “our earth” and participate, or perhaps you will listen carefully to the Lord and discover His landing spot for you.
Let all the earth rejoice, Our Savior has come.