27 Oct Jesus’ Letter to the Church of Metro Washington DC (DMV)
I know your grand streets and spaces, a shining and dynamic world capital, vibrant and culturally diverse, a light for freedom and flourishing. You are stewards of the heart and courage of a nation I created whose ideals of justice, tranquility, general welfare, and the blessings of liberty are close to My heart. Your city was fashioned as a physical embodiment of the ideals found in your Constitution, your Declaration of Independence, and My heavens above.
In displaying the power of My Gospel, you have two distinctions that I love: eclectic neighborhoods where families live and prosper and a center for virtuous national and international political, social, economic and spiritual power – a foretaste of My New Jerusalem. And to Me inscribed on the aluminum cap of the Washington Monument on the east face towards the rising sun are the Latin words “Laus Deo,” which translate to “Praise be to God.”
But, I hold this against you: You were once a hub for freed slaves, a home for a significant and vibrant African American community and place of urban and suburban renaissance. Yet you have squandered your power and lost sight of your earthly and eternal missions. You have been embroiled in political maneuvering and conflicts, and you have compromised the principles of grace, mercy and justice found in your own Constitution and ordained since antiquity in My Word. Your hubris, moral compromise and abuse of power have resulted in wide disparities of flourishing and lost opportunities for My Kingdom to grow on earth as in heaven. Most notably, the lostness of your city is increasing and your churches are not the blessings I intended them to be to their communities. You have displayed disunity that dishonors my Name and causes the world to look away from Me.
Consider how far you have fallen short from my commissions, and repent! You must renew your work on racial equity, counter the effects of gentrification and level the playing field so all to have opportunities to thrive. You must prioritize building affordable housing, improving health care and education, creating jobs with livable wages, making transportation accessible to all, and many other issues adversely affecting your city becoming the equitable and inclusive city I intended. I expect you to address structural and systemic racial inequalities, and the disenfranchisement of many residents that have caused the displacement, segregation, and concentrated poverty that grieves My heart. As you address these unacceptable social realities, you must keep the message of the Gospel front and center until My Word saturates your entire geography and every man, woman and child has experienced, heard and had a chance to respond to My Gospel.
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the Church of Metro Washington DC. I expect you to build My Kingdom in unity, serving and seeking to save as I have. You must set aside your pride, your bickering, and the myriad of excuses and short sighted barriers that led to polarization and prevented My Church from functioning fully. Remember that you are My sheep, not donkeys or elephants. You were purchased at great cost to Me and My Father. Walk in a manner that is worthy of Me and my unconditional, loving sacrifice for you. If you listen and respond to My Spirit, you will be victorious, a city on the hill for others to emulate. You will see fruit that is immeasurably greater than you can think or imagine. My presence will be palpable in all corners of your city and you will experience shalom and joy.
Executive Director, OneHeartDC
Howie Levin is Executive Director of OneHeartDC a platform of over 750 churches and organizations focused on community transformation in the Washington, DC region. Our shared agendas, ownership and accountabilities help us achieve greater collective impact working together than in isolation.