Seeking the Welfare of Our City (Churches Kitchener Waterloo)

Churches Kitchener Waterloo

The Apostle Peter was addressing Christians when he wrote this:

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles…  (1 Peter 2:11)

What does it mean to be an ‘exile’?  I would guess that in your day-to-day, you rarely feel like a ‘sojourner and exile’.  Most of the time, we want to fit in, so what does it mean to be an exile?  That’s an important question, but perhaps even more importantly: what does it mean for how we live?

At the time of Jeremiah the Prophet, the city of Jerusalem had been conquered and many of the citizens carried off as captives to Babylon (about 587 B.C.).  Later, God instructs the exiles through Jeremiah on how they should live:

Jeremiah 29:4-7Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 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.

If you know that you are only going to live somewhere for a short time, you might have a ‘renter’ mindset.  If you’re just waiting to leave relationships, civic investment and caring about the people and the place can lack depth.

However, if Jeremiah 29 applies to us, then we ought to live and think differently:

  1. “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce…” He’s calling us to invest in the people and in the place. An ownership-mentality is different than a renter-mentality.  Even though Christians are ‘renters’ in this world, we ought to carry the mind of an ‘owner’.  We should care about what happens in our cities and neighbourhoods, and make the corresponding civic and relational investments!
  2. “…seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile…” We should be a blessing in Kitchener Waterloo. We should seek to make our cities better places to live.  Notice that God didn’t call Israel to ‘reform’ or ‘remake’ Babylon, rather he called them to seek its welfare.  How can we make our cities better places to live?
  3. “…pray to the LORD on its behalf..” Praying for Kitchener Waterloo isn’t optional.  It’s often through prayer that we connect with God’s heart and vision.  It’s also through prayer that things can shift spiritually.  Living as sojourners and exiles who invest in their cities and seek their welfare requires a vibrant prayer life!

At Central Church, let’s be a community that cares about Waterloo Region, that has a positive impact and influence in this area and who prays to God fervently for the benefit of the Tri-Cities!

What do you think?  What are your ideas to make Kitchener Waterloo a better place to live?  What should we pray for in this region?