May 16, 2020

Community Is . . . Neighborhood

Jeremiah 29:1-14

“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.”

—  Jeremiah 29:7

Walt has always enjoyed being a part of the communities he has lived in. When his daughters were younger, they got to know their neighbors through activities like Girl Scouts and community festivals. His daughters babysat for neighbors, and they got to know many families with a variety of backgrounds. Now that Walt is older, he has enjoyed being a part of community leadership groups and has lots of stories about interactions with neighbors as they share life together. Knowing his neighbors and helping them where he can has been an integral part of his life.

Through Jeremiah, God told his people to seek the peace and prosperity of the city that he had placed them in. Even though they were far from home and their neighbors were quite different from them, God wanted them to invest in their neighborhood and be an active part of their community. That message is still important for us today.

We aren’t always like our neighbors. They may have different backgrounds, faith journeys, or family structures, but God invites us to invest in the people and the places where we find ourselves.

Get to know your neighbors, wherever you are and whoever they are. Seek their peace and prosperity. Invest in them. They are your community.

Father, help us to be bearers of peace and prosperity in the communities where you have placed us. Amen.

About the author — Bret Lamsma

Bret Lamsma is director of faith formation at a church in Denver, Colorado, and has served churches in Michigan and California in youth, inter-generational, and educational ministries. Bret and his wife, Julie, have two children, and he enjoys hiking, camping, and visiting national parks with his family.

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