The other day, this text jumped out at me:
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 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 29:4-7
Three things pop into my mind- missionality, indiginization and cultural mandate. Yahweh's word to exiles was not to forfeit hope, rather, it was a push towards a "living-into" of the context. Often, we as the church, are too busy "saving souls" and doing our own thing, that we neglect a developed ownership of the context in which we have been placed. Our sphere of involvement in the community is limited to how we might benefit. What if the church were to "seek the welfare of the city" where God has purposefully placed us? What if we were to idiginize- to own and live into the culture? What if we were to be cultural trend-setters instead of always trying to mouse-out the devil in culture? What if we were to cancel a Sunday service and spend that time working on the beautification of the neiborhood? What if we were to intentionally move away from the "us/them" and towards a "we"? Somehow that seems closer to the message of Christ.