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God's calling you to all people of all ages

August 17, 2022

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 artwork like Michelangelo’s “Moses” shapes our view of who God can work through, so we expect God to work mainly through powerful senior figures. And God did, calling aged Abram (cf. Genesis 12:4) and Moses at 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, and the prophet Joel pictured God pouring out God’s spirit on people of all ages (and all occupations and status).

  • Scholar John Goldingay noted that 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.” But that was part of the point: “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 intention 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) to 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 Gwyn Thomas

Gwyn Thomas

Gwyn Thomas joined the Resurrection staff in 2021 and serves in donor relations. She’s a Boston native and moved to Kansas City in 2020 when her husband Blake accepted a call at Resurrection West to lead their student ministries! Her favorite pastimes include pottery, hiking, frisbee, trying new restaurants, and spending time with Blake and their large orange cat, Tuna.

I have such a deep passion for youth ministry. I really believe it’s because I had an amazing youth pastor growing up and incredible volunteer leaders. They shaped my faith in profound ways. I asked really hard questions, too. But they’re questions we’ve all likely asked:

Why do bad things happen?
Does God love me?
How do I know God is real?

I don’t remember their answers, to be honest. I do remember that they all encouraged me to keep asking them, though. Their encouragement made me want to come back week after week to learn and listen to what God was speaking through them.

I always compare children to a sponge. They just soak it all in, which is so beautiful and raw. I am a weekly small group leader to a group of high school girls at Resurrection West and WOW, do they challenge me! They ask really hard questions and I do not have all the answers. It’s so funny that life goes full circle like that.

I do, however, learn from their example quite a bit–their curiosity and wonderment, their courage to exemplify their gifts and lead worship, the way they serve and are so passionate about justice in our world. I’m not certain I was as wise at their age.

Our two passages today are clear. God is calling us to listen to the younger generation. What are they asking? How are they responding to the challenges they face? And our calling is not to always have the right answer, but to walk alongside each other on the journey.

© 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.