Several weeks ago I heard the phrase, “The zip code written on your heart is where you were born.” I’ve been thinking about that ever since. In many ways I very much feel like the zip code on my heart is 32960. That’s the zip code I’ve been living in here in Vero Beach for 38 years, more than any other place in my life.
But when I went with our kids and joined 30,000 other young Lutherans from around the country in Detroit for the ELCA Youth Gathering, I realized there was some truth in that saying. Having been born in Detroit, and having gone back there to live and work in Detroit for those 5 days, I realized that that “zip code”, 48201, is also written on my heart. A part of me really felt at home and connected with that place and the people of Detroit, as different a world as it is from 32960. For me, and for all of us who were there, it was a profoundly moving experience to walk and work with the people of Detroit as they work to reclaim and rebuild a once great city that had become a broke and broken city due to a failed economy, crime and corrupt leaders. (Click here to hear my sermon from yesterday about our experience there and Click here for a photo gallery on our website).
But while there I realized there is yet another zip code written on my heart. And this is a zip code I shared with both people of Detroit and the 30,000 Lutherans from around the country. And that is the zip code of the Kingdom of God, the Body of Christ. Whatever that zip code is, that is a place that has no boundaries. We enter it in our Baptism. It is a place where bridges are built and walls come down. It has no color lines or economic lines. It is a place where people work together and walk together to create a better world. It is a place where love rules the day. It is a place where Jesus is present. We learned that from being together in Detroit and we continue to live into that wherever God places us. My thanks to the people of Detroit for helping me to see that in yet another beautiful, wonderful way.
What zip code, or zip codes, are written on your heart? See you in church!
Pastor Jack Diehl + www.oursaviorelca.com