Reading Ahead: a new series debuts

The Rev. Colin Mathewson introduces a new series for the blog, sharing reflections about the upcoming Sunday readings.  This week, it’s Jeremiah 1:4-10.

In this Sunday’s Old Testament reading we overhear a young Jeremiah’s terrified response to God’s call to become a prophet: “Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” Without blinking, God fires back: “”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.” This is supposed to be reassuring, we presume, but it’s easy to imagine Jeremiah quaking in his robe.

Have you ever felt called by God to something you’re not sure if you’re ready or able to do?

Scott Hoezee of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary is helpful in reflecting on such moments:

To a certain extent everyone can identify with the reticence that we see again and again in Scripture when it comes to being a herald of God’s Word. For Isaiah it was a claim of unclean lips. For Moses it was a claim of stuttering lips. For Jeremiah it was a claim of being but a callow youth, too young to be taken seriously or to be given such a large task. Again and again the people God taps for witness in the Bible express doubts as to their ability to do it. And again and again God tells them that such claims are beside the point in that God does not in any event typically tell these people that they had been chosen on account of their stellar native abilities to preach, teach, or prophesize.

It is as though one biblical figure after the next says, “I’m not qualified,” to which God then replies, “Who ever said you were!? I am well aware of your inability to do this work. It all depends on me in the first place and if I give you what you need, then you are going to be clean out of excuses for not doing what I myself am empowering you to do. The power is mine, the message is mine, and the instructions you receive all along the way will be mine. So let’s stop talking about you and start focusing on Me and then we’ll go from there!”

How we yearn at times to avoid the signs and gut feelings in our lives telling us to do God’s work, however annoying, difficult, or seemingly futile. How refreshing it can be to remember that building up the Kingdom is about God’s greater glory, not ours!

Leyendo Adelante: Una serie nueva inicia

El Rev. Colin Mathewson introduce a serie nueva para el blog sobre las lecturas dominicales. Esta semana, es Jeremías 1:4-10. 

En las lecturas para este domingo oimos la respuesta asustada de Jeremías a la llamada de Dios para volverse un profeta: “¡Ay, Señor! ¡Yo soy muy joven y no sé hablar!” Pero Dios responde: “No digas que eres muy joven. Tú irás a donde yo te mande, y dirás lo que yo te ordene. No tengas miedo de nadie, pues yo estaré contigo para protegerte.” Es Jeremiás calmado o aterrorizado??

Han sentido Uds. una llamada de Dios para hacer algo que no están listos o podidos llevar al cabo?

Scott Hoezee of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary nos ayuda contemplar estos momentos (mi traducción):

Hasta un extento cierto todos se pueden identificar con la reticencia que vemos de nuevo y nuevo en la Escritura cuando haya la llamada ser mensajero de la Palabra de Dios. Isaías decía que sus labios eran sucios. Moíses decía que tenía labios tartamudeados. Jeremías decía que era demasiado jóven para tan gran trabajo. De nuevo y nuevo Dios selecciona personas que tienen dudas de sus habilidades hacer la tarea que Dios les da. Y de nuevo y nuevo Dios les dice que sus entendimientos de sus incapacidades no son importantes o aún pertinentes.

Es como estas personas bíblicas dicen, “No soy capaz,” y Dios responde, “Nadie dice que son capaces. Ya sé sus incapacidades. Todo depende en mí. Si les doy todo que necesita, no van a tener otras excusas para no hacer lo que les mando llevar al cabo. El poder es mío, el mensaje es mío, y las instrucciones son mías. No hablemos más de tí sino más de Mí!

Cómo deseamos a veces evitar las signas y sentidos en nuestras vidas diciendonos a hacer las llamadas de Dios, aunque se puede estar difícil, irritante, o fútil. Cómo refrescante recordar que la construcción del Reino de Dios se trata de la gloria mayor de Dios, no de nosotros mismos.

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