Baby brother came home from the hospital with his proud parents to meet his sister. The four-year-old asked her mom and dad if she could be with her brother alone. Anxiously, they allowed her. She went into the baby’s room, closed the door, and moved toward the crib. Her parents, their ears pressed to the door, heard her whisper, “Quick, tell me who made you. Tell me where you came from. I’m beginning to forget!”
When God calls young Jeremiah, God makes sure that Jeremiah will not forget who he is and to whom he belongs. “Before I formed you...I knew you...I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah struggles to believe God and his ability to fulfill God’s call. “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.”
When the bishop laid his hands on my head and intoned the words of ordination, “Take thou authority as an elder to preach the Word of God,” I was unsure I could fulfill God’s call on my life either.
But God calls each of us to our vocation. Whether we work as a minister, a business professional, or in the trades, God calls each of us and gives each of us a mission. As Christians, Jesus Christ calls us as he did the disciples. And Christ’s call to all Christians, no matter our vocation, invites us to co-create the kingdom of God, today and into eternity. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).
God of prevenient grace, when you call, help us to listen. Amen.
The readings in Jeremiah and Psalm 71 are repeated in a pair from earlier in the year (January 28—February 3). They describe the authors’ confidence that God has had plans for their lives since even before they were born. God similarly knows each one of us and has a calling on our lives. The reading in Hebrews gives us confidence in the permanence of the kingdom of God, to which we have access through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We are not to take this lightly; we should worship God with due respect. In a synagogue on the sabbath, Jesus teaches a lesson about mercy. When he encounters a woman in need, he places her need above religious regulations. If religious traditions trump mercy, then our priorities are out of alignment.
Read Jeremiah 1:4-10. How do the children in your life live out God’s call on their lives?
Read Psalm 71:1-6. How do you continually praise God as your refuge?
Read Hebrews 12:18-29. How do you discern what is required of you in praising God in the new covenant?
Read Luke 13:10-17. How do you observe the sabbath now? What sabbath practice might you start that puts God’s reign into action?
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