Mi Casa Uptown Day


Two Sundays ago, we had the honor of celebrating Pastor Rich's first book release! Officially naming the day Mi Casa Uptown Day. 

Natalie Mariscal reflects on the sermon and the ways it challenges our view on community and residency.

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into the exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat of 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.
— Jeremiah 29:4-6

As a church, we’ve spoken about the difference between what it means to be part of a community and what it means to just be a resident. In the verses that Pastor Rich pulled from,  God is calling the people of Israel to not be mere residents of Babylon. God was calling them to be so invested in this foreign place, that it transforms its people, the quality of life, economy, and ultimately it’s culture. According to Rich, “the greatest contribution to a city is family; it makes it home, in its deepest meaning. 

God wasn’t simply asking the Israelites to build a community in Babylon. He was also challenging them because their hearts were set on the promised land, Jerusalem. They had neglected the people around them and only saw Babylon as a means to get to where they wanted to go. Sometimes we become consumed by the good things that God promises us; we sometimes forget that he has called us to be a light here on earth because he is building his kingdom here. God in his sovereignty and mercy wanted to transform Babylon by means of the Israelites being planted in the communities. God cares about the good of his people and those around them. (Jeremiah 29:8) 

Overall, the sermon challenged me to ask myself a few questions:

  • Have I been involved in my community or have I simply been a resident?
  • How am I building the community I’m in for the kingdom of God? 
  • What impact do my actions have here on earth to further grow God’s kingdom?