“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
Loving the City
What does a few hundred college students competing in an Amazing Race in downtown Riverside have to do with ministry? This past weekend we were reminded that it has a lot to do with ministry. Annually, the City of Riverside holds an event called “The Amazing College Race” in which local college students can compete for scholarship money to apply to their educations. And for the past 2 years, the city of Riverside has asked the Well to provide volunteer power to serve at this event.
Part of what it means to be a Christian is that you are actively seeking the wellbeing of your city (community). In fact, when God’s people were taken into Babylonian captivity, God told them that while they were exiles in this worldly culture to “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). It means little to talk of loving people in our church services if we don’t show them love in our city.
Adorning the Gospel
Seeing college students earn money for their education is a good thing. Seeing your city leaders blessed because they had the volunteer power to facilitate an important event on their calendar is a good thing. Showing citizens of your community you are willing to serve them and bless them with no strings attached is a good thing. All of these things adorn the gospel and make the name of Jesus a sweet sound in the ears of those who hear it.
Thank you to the 25 or so volunteers who faithfully, joyfully and lovingly served this past weekend. Thank you for being committed to blessing your city. Thank you for demonstrating that as Christians we’re not only in the city but we’re for the city.
—photo credit: Luis Solis