Slow your breathing and become aware of the taking in and letting out of your breath. Focus on putting things aside so you will be open to what God is saying to you today.
Jeremiah 1:4-10 (NRSV)
Now the word of the LORD came to me saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
and before you were born I consecrated you;
I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the LORD said to me,
“Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’;
for you shall go to all to whom I send you,
and you shall speak whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them,
for I am with you to deliver you,
says the LORD.”
Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me,
“Now I have put my words in your mouth.
See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,
to pluck up and to pull down,
to destroy and to overthrow,
to build and to plant.”
Insecurities impact most of us. Regardless of how desperately we want to change the world by bringing light to darkness, and healing to the hopeless—we often question our abilities to do so. Jeremiah’s concern has always resonated with me. As a child I had a speech impediment and struggled with reader’s comprehension. In school, if asked to read, I would fumble around the words and then when asked: “What did you just read? What does that mean?” I often could not answer.
My childhood experiences led me to have a deep fear of getting up in front of people. So, when God began calling me into the ministry as a pre-teen, I thought “I am only a boy. I do not know how to speak.”
Eventually, I came to trust that God would put words in my heart and mouth to proclaim the Good News of God’s love to all. God did just that! I am humbled every day to be a part of proclaiming Good News, preaching liberation and hope, teaching about God’s concern for the marginalized, and simply striving to live into the prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done—on earth as it is in heaven.” Friends, not all are called to the ministry of Word and Sacrament or as elders or deacons (thanks be to God). Whether you are a teacher, beautician, musician, city sanitation worker, farmer, caregiver, office worker, fire fighter, member of the armed forces, stay at home parent, or…
Regardless of your position in life—know that God has called you to speak and proclaim, just where you are. You are capable. We are invited to share in bringing “Christ’s great kingdom to earth, the kingdom of love and light.” May it be so.
God of the sea and sky, you have heard your people cry. You have born your peoples’ pain. You call us to bring light, to speak words of love. You call us, asking: “Whom shall I send?” May we respond: “Here I am Lord. We will go.” Amen. (from the hymn Here I am Lord)
Go with God.