Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly with God

For me, “being sent” looks like working in cities to improve the quality of life and meet the physical needs of its people. It looks like recognizing the real, tangible ways we can love our neighbors and neighborhoods through the built environment. Right now, I work in affordable housing development, working to get multifamily rental housing built or rehabbed for low income people.

“Being sent” in this case looks like working to ensure people spend an appropriate amount of their income on housing so they can afford the other basic necessities of life. I also work to promote these ideas to different churches, reviving the idea of a parish, and encouraging congregations to think about how they can have an impact on the built environment around them and, ultimately, on human flourishing.

God created us as physical beings, and our environment naturally has an impact on our well-being. All of creation reflects something about God, including the built environment. We are invited to be “co-creators” in the settings of the stories we are living.

Jesus shows us over and over again that he cares for our physical needs. Scripture provides numerous examples of Jesus feeding, healing, and comforting people and commanding his followers to do the same.

Ultimately, for me, “being sent” is the recognition that, when Jesus told the disciples to lower their nets into the lake, he didn’t tell them the precise coordinates to catch the most fish but rather to follow him and to do something. Being sent, for me, means less about a very specific calling or path and more about an idea of doing good in the world while striving to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Maggy Otte

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