The Reverend Elizabeth Bowyer

Introduction to the readings for the Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Our readings this morning begin with a story from the ancient texts with a conversation between God and Jeremiah as a young boy. 

Unfazed by Jeremiah’s attempts to be excused, listen for how God imaginatively encourages Jeremiah to take that proverbial leap of faith.  How do you think this version of God’s call and God’s promise to be with Jeremiah always might feel  affirming or intimidating?

Reading from the New Standard Revised Version, from the book of Jeremiah, chapter 1, verses 4-10.  The call of Jeremiah:  “But I’m only a boy!

“ Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, “Before I formed you in your mother’s 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 and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Here ends our reading from the book of Jeremiah this day.

Let us continue our reflection on God’s word for us with this responsive hymn found at MV#161I Have Called You by Your Name

We continue on with a portion of another reading from the early church; one thought written for that ‘second generation’ of Christians struggling to find hope in the midst of despair.  Reading from the Letter to the Hebrews, from the twelfth chapter, verses 28 and 29

“Therefore since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire.”

For the word of God in scripture, for the word of God among us, for the word of God within us, thanks be to God.