A Tallahassee Beacon
The Nehemiah memoir is a fascinating case study of what happens when an average person working in public life catches a vision for the kind of community his homeland can be. What Jeremiah does as a prophet, and Ezekiel sees as a former priest, Nehemiah does for people who go to work every day. He receives a message from his brother about a disaster in his family’s home place, and he uses the destruction as an opportunity to renew a community.
So what picture do you have in mind for Tallahassee? What do you imagine our community to be like one day as the people of God are renewed and transformed? As we love Tallahassee, what will happen to our church?
Richard Tudor shared one example from the recent Builders for Christ trip in Waterloo, Illinois. As you know, fifty volunteers worked alongside many others to convert a nursing home into a youth and outreach center named “The Beacon.” The building will be used for the church’s children and youth activities. They chose the name “The Beacon” to signify that the facility is a safe harbor for folks in their community.
When the church began to consider the purchase of the facility, they toured many of the patient rooms and discovered an interesting picture on one of the walls. A 90-year-old man had drawn a picture of a ship with an 8-pack of crayons. He had a picture of what the facility was for him as he lived out his life. The church photographed the drawing and plan to hang the print in the facility. It’s a picture of what the facility will become: a lighthouse and port for people on the sea of life.
Just as the First Baptist Waterloo community saw a picture of what their new facility could become, so we are imagining what Tallahassee could be like with people transformed by the love of Christ. Our children sang it best on Sunday night as part of their Nehemiah musical. Their words still ring in my ears:
“Let’s live for Jesus like we never have before.
We are the boys, we are the girls, we are the ones who have a chance to change the world!”
Catch the vision.