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God calls people of all ages

August 17, 2023

Daily Scripture

Jeremiah 1:6-8, Joel 2:28-29

Jeremiah 1
6 “Ah, LORD God,” I said, “I don’t know how to speak
    because I’m only a child.”
7 The LORD responded,
    “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a child.’
        Where I send you, you must go;
        what I tell you, you must say.
8 Don’t be afraid of them,
    because I’m with you to rescue you,”
        declares the LORD.

Joel 2
28 After that I will pour out my spirit upon everyone;
        your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
        your old men will dream dreams,
        and your young men will see visions.
29 In those days, I will also pour out my spirit
        on the male and female slaves.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Often great artwork (like Michelangelo’s “Moses”) shapes our view of who God works through. Then we expect God to work primarily through older figures. God has done that, calling aged Abram (cf. Genesis 12:4) or Moses, age 80 when he set out to deliver Israel from slavery (cf. Exodus 7:7). But God didn’t accept Jeremiah’s protest that he was too young to be effective as a prophet. The lesser-known prophet Joel pictured God pouring out God’s spirit on people of all ages.

  • Scholar John Goldingay said we don’t know exactly how old Jeremiah was: “just a young man—maybe in his twenties, maybe even younger. A culture such as Israel’s recognizes that wisdom lies with people more senior.” Except not always: “God isn’t constrained by the way things usually work.” * Are you ever tempted to discount someone’s testimony because you think they are “too young” (or “too old,” for that matter)?
  • Joel’s message (which the apostle Peter quoted on the Day of Pentecost—cf. Acts 2:12-21) showed God’s desire to work through people of all ages and social standings. “God’s call to Jeremiah is not meant as a model of God’s call to believers in the sense that we should all seek an experience with God like that of Jeremiah…. God does not call all believers to be prophets.” ** What has helped you (or might help you) develop a clearer sense of God’s calling on your life?

Calling, commissioning God, sensitize me to the ways you pour out your Spirit on me, and on the ways your presence calls me to serve and bless others. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

When I was in preschool, I tagged along with my mom for all of her errands. We’d go to the post office, to the discount stores, to the library, etc. But my favorite was when we’d go to the grocery store. She’d often load up my Little Tykes grocery cart into our station wagon, and I’d get to shop like an adult. It was awesome! She had the grown-up cart, and I was right there beside her with mine.

As we went through each of the aisles, she’d say things like, “We need one loaf of bread. Can you pick out one of these loaves and put it in your cart?” With a deep sense of accomplishment, I’d carefully select the loaf and put it in my cart.

It was quite rare for store employees or other shoppers to see such a tiny cart in a store at that time. “My, what a big girl you are!” they’d gush. “You’re such a great helper!” I didn’t shy away from this kind of attention. I ate up every word doled out to me. And when I’d get up to the register, I’d load my groceries at the counter. Often, the grocery clerk would look at me when they gave me the total. “That’ll be $19.17, ma’am.” “That’s right, I am a ‘ma’am,’” I’d think with my chest puffed out. My mom would hand me a twenty-dollar bill to give to the clerk, which I did as if it was my own hard-earned money. With the bags of groceries and my tiny grocery cart in tow, we’d head back to our station wagon.

Still to this day, it’s one of my favorite childhood memories. I love that my mom poured into me, teaching me what it was like to be a grown up. And the fact that others would stop what they were doing to reinforce this was amazing!

I think this is often what it looks like to raise up the next generation to follow Jesus. It takes parents, professionals, and members of the community who are dedicated to sharing God’s story of hope and redemption with younger people. Maybe God is nudging you right now to take that next step. Know that you don’t do so alone. Resurrection has teams of people to come along side you and empower you to lead. And honestly, you don’t have to know it all. None of us do. You just have to be willing to be present and share how God has worked in your own life. That’s the main experience you need! Think about it, pray about it, and if you feel so led, check out the volunteer page on our website: There are kids and students in our church and community searching for God’s love. You might just be the right person to show them.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* John Goldingay, Jeremiah for Everyone. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2015, p. 10.
** J. Andrew Dearman, The NIV Application Commentary: Jeremiah, Lamentations. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002, p. 52.