FCS staff is sharing thoughts on Hope this Advent season as we await the birth of the Christ child. This week's reflection is from Jeff Delp, Director of Economic Development.
If you ever drive through our neighborhood at night, it can be a very dark place.
So many houses are unoccupied and unlit. (Although, thanks to Charis, this number is decreasing.) Many street lights in the neighborhood no longer work, though neighbors are working to change this situation. And now that winter is near, darkness falls before many people even make it home from work.
But if you drive by 1297 Jonesboro Road on a Wednesday night, you’ll see light shining – both literally and figuratively.
At this time, every part of our building is lit up! South Atlanta Bike Shop kids are working away with tools and wrenches and air pumps. Our neighborhood youth group is meeting in the gym with wild group games and spiritual conversations. Community Grounds is serving coffee while customers shop for fresh groceries at Carver Market.
Our building literally shines with all of the lights on.
But the light at 1297 Jonesboro Road is more than just physical. Hope is spilling out of every window and crack on Wednesday nights.
Residents of South Atlanta have new hope of a job in their community. There’s hope of providing food for your family with your own money in your own neighborhood. There’s joy and delight of an evening spent with friends. There’s hope in relationships, and there’s hope that the neighborhood - as well as each of us - can change and grow and be a light.
What if you don’t just drive by? If you spend time getting to know our kids, our staff, and our neighbors, you’ll see the light shining. The evidence of hope will encourage your heart.
Of course, it’s not supposed to be like this. A neighborhood like ours isn’t supposed to have hope, isn’t supposed to have a grocery store or a youth group or a bike shop.
But that’s the beauty of our Savior, right? He enters the scene in the places least expected with the people on the margins, and He brings hope. As I wait for Christmas this year, I am expectant of the hope my Savior brings. And though I know I don’t deserve it, I am thankful beyond measure for the grace my Christ brings.
Let us all celebrate light in our lives, in South Atlanta, and in the world this season!