In his book, Visions of Vocation, Steven Garber writes,
Always and everywhere, this is our challenge as human beings. Can we know and love the world at the very same time? Knowing its glories and shames, can we still choose to love what we know? Is there any task more difficult than that? Think it through. From roommates to parents to siblings to friends, from neighborhoods to cities, from countries to cultures to continents—once you begin to really know what a person or a place is like, can you still love them, can you still love it?
It’s no secret that there’s a lot not to love in the 330: drug use and overdose death is at an all-time high, there seem to be fewer good jobs than ever before, and feeling “stuck in Ohio” is too-often our reality.
That being the case, it’s easy to trash where we live, find it disappointing, and to even seek to find a way out of the Valley. But to belong to the people of Jesus is to have an entirely different kind of relationship with the 330—to love it.
Our vocation—our calling—as the people of Jesus is to see the 330 exactly as it is and to love it just the same. There’s a kind of realism that Jesus calls us to, a realism that, without filter or rose-colored glasses, sees our Valley as it is. At the very same time, He calls us to see it with the optimism of the Gospel—for what it could be if we invited Him to make us people who bring Heaven to Earth.
In our four-week series, Love the 330, we’ll discover what it means to be people who live in this place, at this time, with love. We’ll explore the ways we can lay down what is precious to us for the sake of our city, and be reminded that being invested in our community’s Common Good is a holy endeavor.
Love the 330 is a series at both our campuses, starting August 13.