How do we respond to a culture that seems opposed to so many things that the gospel stands for? A common stereotype of the church is that it is known far more for what it stands against than what it stands for. We are perceived as being hateful rather than representing our God who is love.
Jeremiah sends a letter to those who were exiled from Jerusalem and tells them to "seek the peace and prosperity" of Babylon. Babylon is a nation who destroyed Jerusalem and kidnapped most of the country and yet Jeremiah tells the people to pursue what is good for the nation.
Rather than being isolationists they are to integrate themselves into the culture in order to be a source of goodness and grace. They are to actively love and serve their neighbors in a way that represents God well. They find themselves in a midst of a sinful, pagan, idolatrous country but rather than slinking back into the shadows they are to shine forth for the glory of God.
Question of the day: What can you do to live in a way that seeks the peace and prosperity of Naples?
Father God, you love everyone. Help me to share the love I have received from you with others. Help me not to be concerned only with myself but the good of our city, state, country and world. Give me eyes to see ways I can love others today. Amen.