Today, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th President of The United States of America. There are many in our community who will celebrate the incoming President. There are many others who would’ve liked a different outcome. As Americans, we have the opportunity to come together in unity to work towards a better future for all people in our country for future generations.
As Christians, we are “aliens and strangers” in this world (1 Peter 2:11). Our primary citizenship is in the Kingdom of God, which is why we are not beholden to a political party, platform, or leader. But we are called to work and pray for the good of this temporary home where we currently reside.
The prophet Jeremiah was operating in the time that Israel was exiled to Babylon. This meant that much of the population had to make the long journey to Babylon to work (as slaves) for the Babylonian empire. You can probably imagine that the people of Israel would rather have gone home and seen the Babylonian empire fail. But God speaks through Jeremiah saying,
“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.”
God tells Israel to “seek the welfare of the city.” The city was Babylon. The city was the great enemy of Israel. But the people of God are to seek the welfare of the city of Babylon while living as aliens and strangers there. They are to “build houses,” “plant gardens,” “eat produce,” and “get married,” and “multiply, not decrease. (Jer. 29:5-6).” Why are they to do this? Because if Babylon thrives then the exiles will thrive.
Paul tells Timothy,
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”
1 Timothy 2:1-2
Paul’s advice to believers is to pray for our leaders in such a way that their leadership would lead to peaceful and quiet lives in godliness and holiness. This is instructions for us today regardless who our President, governor, mayor, or pastors are. We pray for our leaders that they may lead in such a way that leads to peaceful and quiet lives for all people. We pray that they would lead with godliness and holiness. We pray that as they succeed, so will all the people in our nation succeed.
I ask that you would join me today, and in the days to come, to pray for the welfare of our nation, our leaders, and our church that in their flourishing would lead to flourishing for all people. Where we see those who do not flourish or are left out, let us work as the hands and feet of Christ to lift those up who have been left behind.