May we all bloom where we are planted

The Amherst News - - RELIGION - By Rev. Tim Stevens, Cross­roads Com­mu­nity Church

“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 29:7

God spoke these words to the peo­ple of Is­rael af­ter they had been taken cap­tive into the land of Baby­lon.

Liv­ing in Baby­lon, there was a lot that the peo­ple of Is­rael could com­plain about. Baby­lon was the en­emy that de­stroyed their towns and cities and de­feated them. The val­ues and ethics of Baby­lon were vastly dif­fer­ent. It would have been easy to com­plain and grum­ble about all that is wrong with Baby­lon - but God gave them a spe­cific in­struc­tion. Pray for your city. When it does well, so will you.

I have been struck this sum­mer hear­ing about some of the dif­fer­ent things that have hap­pened around our town. From the Vimy tree and down­town wood sculp­ture be­ing de­stroyed, to the van­dal­ism at in the wash­rooms at our park fa­cil­i­ties. It can be easy to com­plain, grum­ble and have a bad at­ti­tude.

But, as a Chris­tian, I live with the con­vic­tion that God has placed me where I am for a pur­pose and that I am to shine the light of Christ wher­ever I am. So in­stead of look­ing at all that is wrong around me, I pray for the wel­fare of Amherst. I pray for the wel­fare of our town, our elected

of­fi­cials, our schools, busi­nesses, nurses, po­lice, fire depart­ment and paramedics.

The amaz­ing thing is that as I pray God shows me so much of the good in Amherst. From our in­no­va­tive busi­ness own­ers like those at Mar­itime Mo­saic and Break­fast at Brit­tney’s to our emerg­ing food scene with Smile Sushi, Bob’s Pizza and Shawarma and Vic­to­ria Faire to those who serve us with such ef­fort in the Re­cre­ation depart­ment and other branches of gov­ern­ment. This is a small list, we could fill this pa­per with the names of po­lice, med­i­cal peo­ple, teach­ers, vol­un­teers who work for the wel­fare of Amherst.

My prayer is that we would all bloom where we are planted and that hope would arise in Amherst, from our se­niors to our stu­dents.

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