October 4, 2010

Monday Mini-Sermon

Jeremiah (1:4-10) testifies that the Lord told him that he was called as "a prophet to the nations" even before he was conceived.  He makes it clear that he did not respond to God, as Isaiah did, with "Here am I, Lord, send me."  Instead he tries to beg off.  First he says, "I do not know how to speak," which recalls Moses trying to demure his call ... Then Jeremiah uses his age as an excuse: "I am only a boy."

We do not know how old Jeremiah was when he realized that he had been called to be a prophet.  But even at an early age he knew that the call was undeniable. ...

A while back I had a conversation with a good friend who also is a minister.  He is experiencing the grinding challenges of ministry in a local church. "Have you thought of doing something else?" I asked.  "Sure," he said, "but I believe God called me into this work, and I haven't received any other instructions."  What can you say in response to that?  Jeremiah knew that nothing more could be said, either.

-Martin B. Copenhaver, Wellesley Congregational Church 
Christian Century, August 10, 2010