Tikkun Olam

Friday, August 22

5-30

Barbara Howard

By Barbara Howard of Independence, Missouri, USA

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 NRSV

A conversation with our Jewish daughter-in-law introduced us to Tikkun Olam, “to repair the world.” This is the heart of Judaism, she said. After our conversation, I realized that our Christian faith shares that calling and immediately thought of our friend, Linda.

Linda found her calling in a section of the city where poverty and unemployment are significant. She began walking the neighborhood and soon started a small mission. “Welcome Home” meets Sunday afternoons for worship and community, always sharing a meal as folks do when they are home.

On Tuesdays, she creates a scripture study, followed by a light supper. On Wednesdays, Welcome Home delivers “Love Lunches” to more than 30 people who live in places such as behind trash bins. Linda’s commitment is to feed the “whole person spiritually and physically.”

While Linda’s city widely extends beyond her congregation, she witnesses of a person who lives Tikkun Olam. Her commitment reminds me of my role as a disciple. While this offers many ways to serve, I believe God calls me to move beyond my sheltered walls. I am called to work in the political arena to end poverty. I am to see need in my congregation and respond.

I will welcome everyone, no matter who they are, into my world. There, I will try to repair any pain or deprivation I may experience. These also are ways to be a community of blessing.

Prayer for Peace God of hospitality, may we open our arms as you do and welcome the homeless. Help us open our heart to the city and the world. Let Christ’s peace flow like a river from our hearts to share with all.

Spiritual Practice: Offering Blessings of Community Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the relationships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, and people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life. What blessings flow to you from these circles? How have you felt the love of the community?

Reflect, pray, or write in your journal about the call to be “Community of Christ.” Go deeper each day as you sense what act of blessing God invites you to complete for stranger and friend alike.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will seek the welfare of the city, because I love its people.

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3 Comments

  1. Diane Akers

     /  22 August 2014

    Thanks for sharing! I loved your statement “that I welcome everyone, no matter who they are, into my world”! I have the same feeling of loving everyone.

  2. Marlene Krueger

     /  22 August 2014

    You’ve always done that, Barbara. You are always ready to help someone in need.

  3. Janné Grover

     /  22 August 2014

    May we all embrace Tikkun Olam in our expressions of hospitality and invitation. Your story is such a blessing. Thank you, Barbara.

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