5 March 2018

Jeremiah 1:1-10

“Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” (v. 6)

Psalm: Psalm 30


Jeremiah was the son of Hilkiah, a priest of Anathoth (verse 1). I have a sense of connection with Jeremiah’s life as the son of a priest having grown up in a manse myself. Each day I saw my father at work, performing the rites and rituals of the Church much as the young Jeremiah would have done. I can understand the young man’s reluctance to accept the call given to him, having sworn myself never to work for the Church and yet having been called to minister within it.

When God spoke to Jeremiah (verse 5) and called him to the role of prophet to the nations it must have terrified the young man. It is common for those God calls to feel this way. Moses (Exodus 3:11), Isaiah (Isaiah 6:5) and many others all looked for an excuse when God sort them for a role.

For Jeremiah, it was his age that he felt held him back. How could someone so young speak to nations? Why would they listen to him -  an inexperienced man who has lived in the rather strange world of a priestly family? What would he know of the world, of war, or of faith?

God’s response is wonderful -  “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’” (v. 7)! What a great thing to say and something I feel the Church must learn from. Jeremiah is inexperienced; he isn't as worldly or as wise as others, but none of this matters to God. He is exactly the right age to do what God has called him, and God will equip him and protect him along the way. How I dream for a church filled with young, gifted preachers, teachers, stewards, musicians, prophets and those will every other type of calling – all trusting God as Jeremiah did and finding that they have all they need in God who gives them strength.

To Ponder

  • Have you ever felt called by God to a specific ministry? What did you do?
  • How can you encourage those who may feel they are ‘too young’ to embrace God’s call to them in the church?

Bible notes author

The Revd David Wynd

David Wynd is a Methodist presbyter in the North Shields and Whitley Bay Circuit. He leads Cullercoats Methodist Church and is involved in a circuit project called Network.