For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
One of my favorite prophetic texts in the Hebrew Scriptures is Jeremiah 29:4-23. Jeremiah 29:11 is well known, but I’m struck by what’s spoken a few verses earlier in verse seven — “seek the peace and prosperity in the city to which I have carried you into exile.” Peace. Shalom — wholeness and complete well being. Later this week, Pastor Dale Ridenour is going to unpack Jeremiah 29:7 a bit more in one of our devotionals.
Most of us don’t need to be reminded of how broken our world is today. It’s clearly evident — in our local communities, around the world, even in our own homes. Prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah spoke to a people in pain, who were trying to figure out what God was doing in the midst of brokenness. Sound familiar?
Many of us wish we had the answers for what God is doing among the realities we face right now…but maybe, just maybe, the answer for us is similar to what Jeremiah shared with the exiles in Babylon. Jeremiah says, “Notice the pain of your captors, see where they hurt, where they’re struggling…and work for their well-being.” How might we take a similar approach? Do we see our neighbors? Do our actions benefit others? How are we involved in bringing restoration and wholeness to the places we live?
Jesus came as the Prince of Peace, ushering in a new kingdom. We’re invited to live in that kingdom daily, to constantly partner with others (whether they share our beliefs or not) to bring shalom to the place and time where we live. How might you do that today and this week?
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