Called to be the Church in Our Neighbourhood (Remembrance Sunday)

Blog Topic: 

Jeremiah 29:4-7,11-14

Matthew 5:13-16

This morning against the background of remembering those who have served and given their lives for the sake of others, in the interest of freedom, so that those who come behind them can benefit from a life that is full and free, we will reflect on what it means to be the church in our neighbourhood. What does God expect of the church, how does God expect us to live as the church in our neighbourhood.

Prayer

A)  As a church we are instructed to grow, to prosper in all aspects of our lives. The people of Israel were exiles in Babylon. Immigrants by force (kind of how I imagine that the Syrians would feel). Even though they were in exile the Lord of host tells them to:

"4 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carriedinto exile from Jerusalem to                   Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have                   sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may                   have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease".

What can we possibly learn from this? ...make the best of where you are. Prosper where you are, grow where you are, start new relationships in your neighbourhood, loving relationships, relationships of mutuality, relationships of giving and taking.

1. Be good neighbours.

(a) Talk to your neighbour

(b) Share with your neighbour

(c) Uplift your neighbourhood

(d) Interact with the families in your neighbourhood

(e) Grow in your relationships

2. Seek the welfare of your neighbours...that is what it indicated in verse7 of the Jeremiah text

"7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”"

This includes praying for them, because your welfare believe it or not hinges on their welfare.


B) As a church we are offered a promise as Jeremiah 2:11-14 outlines

"11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.[b]I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

It is a promise of RESPONSIVENESS to our prayers (v12)

It is a promise of ACCESSIBILITY to God (v13)

It is a promise of RESTORATION of what has been lost, to bring back to the place where you felt complete. (v14)

Song- God is able to do, just what he said he would do...he's gonna fulfil, every promise to you...don't give up on God, coz God won't give up on you...God's able!!

C) As a church we are expected to make our presence felt in the community.

1. We should be like salt, we should enhance our neighbourhoods, work to preserve our neighbourhood, help to prevent it from plunging into decay.

Matt 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

2. We should be like light, our role is to offer direction, give hope, give another option. If people need a light at the end of a dark tunnel, we should be that light.

Matt 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorifyyour Father in heaven.

If we are serious about making a difference in the neighbourhood we can't hide. We have to allow the good that we are doing to become known, we have to help people to see God, not just from our words, but also from our deeds.

Today we celebrate/remember those who have made a difference, they stood up, they stepped out and were willing to be salt and light. May we never forget what they have done, for our future. May we also recognize that we have to do our part for those who come behind us. We are called to be the church in our neighbourhood.

Amen