Readings: Jeremiah 29:1,4-13, Matthew 5:1-48
Now in Jeremiah 29, we see God’s Word reach the exiles in Babylon though the prophet Jeremiah. Interesting how God has a new assignment for them in exile. It can be summed up in verse 7: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
Can these words have meaning for us today? Are our circumstances as committed disciples of Jesus Christ in a nation and culture that does not honor him as Lord or looks to him as Savior much different from being in exile? Is the Lord’s command to the exiles in Babylon consistent with the New Testament Gospel teachings of Jesus Christ on how to live the Blessed Life Jesus describes in Matthew 5? (Read all of it) A question we can ask ourselves: Do I seek the welfare of the city God has placed me in knowing the impact I may see in my life may go completely unnoticed by man, but not by God? And in doing so, will I find my welfare (blessing)? A serious question for serious times, when, yes, I believe as the Church we are like a people in exile in the secular West. As we turn the corner on the final week of Lent, looking to the Cross and empty tomb, can we pray to the Lord to show us specifically how we as individuals and His Church, can bless the community he’s planted us in, and enjoy the blessings he has in store for us as we are faithful and obedient to his leading. Lord, give me the grace and courage to follow where you lead, even when it’s to the cross you would have me take up every day. I trust in you Jesus, my Savior and Lord. Amen.