Monday, April 28, 2008
Seek the Welfare of the City
I have always been struck by God's plan in Jeremiah 29:7. To a nation suffering in captivity God tells them to settle down, plant vineyards, marry, and pray for the pagan nation of Babylon. Hmmmm. That's interesting. Pray for the nation that destroyed your city and laughs at your faith (Psalm 137). That's what God called them to do. Even in captivity they were to bless their nation.
If God called them to do that, how much more should we bless our neighborhoods. I don't think we live in circumstances as bad as the people of Israel. However, I do believe God calls us to bless our city. Sometimes I think we Christians are no different than the people (cult) in El Dorado, Texas. They shunned the world and lived in isolation. They became inbred. They had the their views of truth, love, and healthy families distorted. Sometimes we do the same, and the result is the same. Take the kids out and put them in a different environment--they seek to retreat to the compound and shut out the world.
After a year at Lincoln and watching Sunday campus cleanup crews from Lincoln work while we worshipped we decided to stop shutting out the world. We dismissed services Sunday and showed up to help. Funny thing was that Bill Clinton had been there Saturday so all staff and custodians were worn out. They also had prom so all the older students were sleeping in. Yet 35-40 Agape people showed up at 10am, had communion on the track, and worked for a couple hours to help the school that none of us attend and a neighborhood that we worship in. They were greatful, really greatful. We had a blast.