Date: Wednesday, September 24
Scripture: Jeremiah 1:1-19
Verse: The Lord then said, “You are right, for I’m watching over my word until it is fulfilled.” (Jeremiah 1:12)
Many years ago, as a young clergyperson in New Jersey, I was assigned to a committee which our Bishop and district superintendents attended regularly. I was typically intimidated by them. They were much farther along in their careers than I, had some control over my destiny, and were respected enough by their colleagues to have been appointed (DS) or elected (Bishop) to their position. I still remember the afternoon our committee was eating lunch together and at the Bishop put his hand on my shoulder and asked if the chair next to me was available. It was, and I ended up sitting with Bishop. After chatting a little, I found out he liked sports and Star Trek (which I know next to nothing about), so that’s what we talked about and it was fun. By the time it was over, I felt we knew each other as people rather than positions.
Imagine if it was God who laid his hand on your shoulder and asked to sit beside you. What do you say? In today’s passage, God is introducing himself to Jeremiah and calling him to be his spokesman (the role of prophet). It will be difficult work. So God encourages Jeremiah in several ways. He tells him he has known and loved him since before he was born, that he will be with him through the very difficult stuff, and finally tells him simply to speak God’s words because he is watching over them until they are fulfilled.
When the Bishop sat beside me that day, I didn’t know what to say. When God pulled out the chair next to Jeremiah, I imagine he didn’t know what to say either — notice how God does all the talking this passage. When we pray, sometimes we don’t know what to say. When you run out of things to pray, the Bible is a great place to go. Find the promises of God that speak to you, and ask God to fulfill them in your life. As God tells Jeremiah, he is watching over his word until it is fulfilled. So we can pray those words back to God, knowing he is seeking to fulfill them in the world and in our lives.
Prayer: Show me your way, O God, as I read your words in the Bible. Amen.
Action: Find a promise in Scripture (one I like is Isaiah 32:17-18) and pray for God’s fulfillment of that promise.
Respond: Have you ever had to make small talk with someone who intimidated you a little? What did you do?
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