For This City

At Salem we long to be a church who seeks the welfare of the city where God has placed us.

The Prophet Jeremiah

Among the prophets Jeremiah is unique in that he was called to preach for forty years, knowing that no-one would listen. He prophesied destruction when others promised peace. As a result, he not only lived through opposition from his own people, but also through war, and the eventual the destruction of Jerusalem & exile into Babylon. His message of repentance is of profound importance. We were made for God and nothing else.

Why is it called For this City? For a group of people who were content living they way they were, to be besieged in war and then uprooted and taken to another country, exile was just about the worst thing imaginable. Yet God said through it all that he would not make a full end. There was still hope ultimate hope in Jesus (Jeremiah 31). But there was also hope for life in the present. As the people were living in exile, these were God's words to them:

Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 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 29:5-7 (ESV)

In our last series we saw that the gospel is the center between God's story and our story. It calls us to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel. In Jeremiah we see the same thing on a whole new level. It's easy to long for life to go back to normal before the pandemic. And yet God is stirring in our world a longing for a life that is centered around himself; a life that worships God, but that seeks justice for those in need. What if instead of wanting life to go back to the way it once way, we embraced what God is doing in this world and found ourselves participating in it? What if we prayed hard for our city? What if we sought the welfare of Fargo-Moorhead above our own?

Scripture Passage

  • January 16: Jeremiah 1
  • January 23: Jeremiah 2-3
  • January 30: Jeremiah 4-5
  • February 6: Jeremiah 6-7
  • February 13: Jeremiah 8-10
  • February 20: Jeremiah 11-12
  • February 27: Jeremiah 13
  • March 6: Jeremiah 15
  • March 13: Jeremiah 16-17
  • March 20: Jeremiah 18-19
  • March 27: Jeremiah 23
  • April 3: Youth Sunday
  • April 10: Jeremiah 29
  • April 17: Jeremiah 31 (Easter)
  • April 24: Jeremiah 32
  • May 1: Jeremiah 33:1-13
  • May 8: Jeremiah 33:14-26
  • May 15: Jeremiah 39
  • May 22: Jeremiah 40-52
  • May 29: Celebration Sunday