Jason sees his existence within the context of God’s relentless purposefulness. His prayer is that somehow because of his God-ordained existence, Kansas City will be a better place.
So here is The Big Idea: You and I are sent people – we are sent by God to seek the well-being of our city.
It is no coincidence or accident that you are alive and reading this. That you were born when you were born, were raised where you were raised, work where you work, lead where you lead and influence the sphere you influence. God has always known about you.
A long time ago, God sent a letter to His children through His prophet Jeremiah. You’re probably most familiar with this part:
“For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for well-being and not for trouble, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will look for Me and find Me, when you look for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLV)
You’ve likely prayed that one before in the hope that somehow you would link up with the mysterious plan of God for your life. But did you ever realize that God talking about His plan for you is first linked to the instruction found a few sentences earlier?
“Work for the well-being of the city where I have sent you to and pray to the Lord for this. For if it is well with the city you live in, it will be well with you.” Jeremiah 29:7 (NLV)
It appears that God found it important to link our personal well-being with that of the city to which He has sent us. And He has sent us.
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” Acts 17:26 (NIV)
And what about this “well-being” part? Well, it is that all-encompassing Hebrew word “shalom” which in all its richness means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.
So in His letter through Jeremiah, God instructs His kids to seek the shalom of the city to which He sent them for in that they would find their own shalom because, after all, “For I know the plans I have for you.”
They were not called to withdraw from the world, but to engage it and thus influence its – and their – well-being. They were called to be salt and light to their city. And I suspect Jesus expects no less from us.
Tim Keller said, “God cares about people and thus He cares about the communities in which they gather.”
So if God cares about the city, what does a city look like in which God’s children in residence gather in unity and love, determined that because they existed their city would become a better place for all?
It probably looks like a city full of Jasons.