We make decisions every day about who we accept and who we don't, who belongs and who can be ignored.
When dealing with matters like this, it's good to remember that God knows no such boundaries and ignores no one.
You are welcomed now into the presence of the very One who embraces you in the same way as any other person.next >
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 29:7next >
While the Israelites were in exile, living in Babylon, God asked them to do something they probably didn’t want to do. If we were in their shoes, we probably wouldn’t want to either! They are supposed to seek the goodness of the city of their captors. They are supposed to pray for Babylon!
"Pray for our enemy? Pray for those who conquered our city and are holding us in captivity?" Yes!
And perhaps more perplexing, the Israelites would be blessed through Babylon. Through the welfare of the city, God will bless God's people.
This passage isn’t just about blessing for the foreigner, but blessing through the foreigner. The “enemy” is a channel of blessing. Can we comprehend that our adversaries may actually be a source of God’s goodness?
Meredith Shawnext >
God, your love and mercy are so wide. Help me to comprehend your goodness toward people who I don’t even like. Although it is hard for me to do, I pray now for my enemy. Amen.next >
You are moving now into the day ahead,
No stranger to the One who has made you
And has kept you right up until this moment.
Pause today from time to time and feel
The embrace of a God who offers you welcome.
Share that welcome with all you meet.
Meredith Shaw Forssman
Meredith Shaw is a student at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She also works in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Resource Center as a missional congregations assistant. She likes books, coffee, travel, and snail mail.
I Come to the Garden Alone