4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. …7 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.
In this holy season for myself as a Christian, I am reminded not of the birth of Jesus, but this passage by the prophet Isaiah. In the Christian and Jewish traditions, this passage talks about the Israelites as they learn to make their way as exiles and immigrants in Babylon. Their homeland was no more. They wanted to go back, but the prophet Jeremiah spoke God’s words to the people: now is not the time to go back, but to “seek the welfare of the city.”
In other words, people of faith are called to “bloom where we are planted.” We use our faith to make a difference where we live.
It (Faith) allows us to branch out and to seek the welfare of the city, to help the poor find places that they can call home.
Faith grounds us and gives us a perspective. It allows us to branch out and to seek the welfare of the city, to help the poor find places that they can call home.
Beacon congregations and advocates work hard to seek the welfare of the city (and suburbs) as we press for affordable housing.
But there is still much more to do. 2018 means we will spend more time seeking the welfare of all so that all people may have a home.