Today we step into scripture and overhear Jeremiah’s call to serve the Lord through an intimate conversation between God and Jeremiah. God calls to Jeremiah whom God formed in the womb, “I choose you. Consecrate you. Appoint you.” And Jeremiah protests, “Uhhh, I don’t know, God.” Then follows God’s assurance, “No, really. I choose you. Do not be afraid.” And finally a sign (a touch to the mouth) and a vision (of plucking up and planting).
These verses record a unique and powerful moment in Jeremiah’s life. But this particular story speaks to our universal reaction to God’s calling throughout our faith story and in our contemporary lives. Consider Jeremiah, called to serve but afraid to speak on God’s behalf. Yet God provides assurance, assistance, and a sign. The gift of this story comes in the reminder that when God calls we will likely be uncertain and afraid.
We stand in good company. Jeremiah and Moses protested; Sarah laughed at the promise of children; Esther struggled to believe the power of her place in history. But God knows us, loves us, and believes in our potential. God, who formed us in the womb, longs for our participation with God for good and invites us to use our unique gifts to bring the reign of God here on earth. God can transform our weakness and woundedness into strength and healing for the world.
I pray that you hear God’s call upon Jeremiah as your call this day, a specific call, true for every believer. Read your name in verse 5, “(Name), before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Raise your concerns and then hear God’s words of assurance, “Do not be afraid . . . , for I am with you.”
Gracious God, grant us confidence that you know us intimately and love us unconditionally. Give us the humility to trust your call and the boldness to live it out. Amen.