During the time of Judah’s exile, Jeremiah prophesied to his people of God’s plan for their welfare. Unlike Jeremiah’s contemporaries (Jeremiah 29:9), he did not prophesy that God would soon deliver His people from exile, but that they would remain for a period of 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10) after which God would again visit His people to fulfill His promises to them. In the meantime, the Israelites were commanded to “seek the welfare of the city” in which they were exiled.
Like the Israelites, we are called by God to be a transformative force for the good of our particular context as we await God’s deliverance -- this time not a return to the Promised Land, but the promise of a returned Son. As God has ordained particular times and places for our lives, we are called to be missionaries of reconciliation within those particular contexts. The reason that Redeemer exists in the Omaha metro in the 21st century is that God might be known and enjoyed in this context.We want to be intentional in pursuing the welfare of the city. We want to be deliberate and committed to seeing justice maintained, the gospel proclaimed and lives changed for the glory of God.
Reflection and Intercession:
- Think about the promise of the return of Jesus Christ. Does that stir your affections and bring you joy?
- How does the welfare of the Omaha metro in particular (or America in general) relate to the welfare of those who live in that context?
- Do you ever emphasize evangelism to the neglect of good works or vice versa?
- Confess any tendency to complacency in turning your back on the cities in which we live.
- Confess any exposed areas of apathy or ignorance toward the plight and dangers of the city.
- Praise God for His compassion and commitment to social transformation.
- Praise God that He has historically linked the welfare of His people to the welfare of an area to persuade us to better engage those around us.
- Ask God to bless the Omaha metro with a renewal of biblical Christianity.
- Ask God to grant the elders and pastors of Redeemer Church wisdom and insight to know how to engage the metro and seek its welfare better.