Friday, December 5, 2014

Advent: December 5

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Acts 11:19-26

         Jeremiah picks up where Hosea left off. Hosea reminded the people of the power of relationships and that God was calling them into a relationship with him. The opening of Jeremiah recounts his appointment as prophet by the Lord. The scene presents God in one of the most human-like encounters with the familiarity toward the prophet. The knowledge God shares from the earliest moments of Jeremiah’s existence, to the physical contact as He placed His words in His messenger’s mouth, to his assurance of protection; how can that not bring a sense of peace in the midst of turmoil.

         I frequently have to remind my students that their words have power. What they say and how they say it can wound another for years. Today’s passage reminds me that wounding is only part of what words can do. As God explains when he appoints Jeremiah. His words can be used in construction or for destruction. The verse points out both the good and the bad that can come through speech. In the case of the prophet, none of it is bad, it reflects different ways to get things done.

         Each time I read this passage from the prophets something different strikes me about it. Often I connect to God having a plan for Jeremiah from the beginning. This time though, the relationship between God and Jeremiah hit me as remarkably human. I am a bit jealous now, but I know that I have the same thing. If you want to know a definition of peace: that is it!