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.
—Jeremiah 29:7 (ESV)
I live in the Kansas City metropolitan area. I am one of over 2 million people who live here. I like what Kansas City has to offer. There are churches, theater, jazz, professional sports, and really good restaurants. I like it here.
Living in a city is something that over 80% of the United States experiences. The “urbanization” of America continues. It is happening all over the world. Even though Asia and Africa are now primarily rural, the projections are that the majority of the population there will be urban by the year 2050.
There is a lot wrong with our city. In fact, there is a lot wrong with most cities. How should I respond to making things better? Should I simply focus on telling people about Jesus and ignore all the things that are wrong? All that is wrong is temporary, right?
Jeremiah wrote God’s words to a people who were living temporarily in another country. God’s people were exiles. Instead of telling the people to ignore where they were, God told them to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you.” They were to pray and take action for the city.
These words of God challenge me to care. I am called to care for my city. I can’t ignore the things that are wrong. God wants me to seek the welfare of my city. By doing that, I even improve my own welfare.
How do I do that? I start with prayer but then I take action. I also want to support good people in governance who care, ideally with biblical values. As a Christian, I therefore will vote for those type of people. But I want to do more than vote, I want to improve my city in every way I can.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray for the safety and protection for my city. My I listen to Your Holy Spirit to guide and direct me to take action to care for my neighbors, all 2 million of them.