Jeremiah 1:4-10; Luke 13:10-17;
The word of the Lord came to me. So wrote Jeremiah. Immature and diffident as he was. Called to speak God’s word to the most powerful people
The word of the Lord came to me. So wrote Jeremiah. Immature and diffident as he was. Called to speak God’s word to the most powerful people in the land. Called to tell it like it is. Called to be the mouthpiece by which God would speak to the nation. Called to speak words that came from the one who spoke all creation into existence. The word that would find its clearest expression in Jesus. God is not tongue-tied. God speaks, and in speaking God makes a difference. As we all know, words spoken can never be unsaid. The word of God always makes a difference. Unless we freeze it, preserve it and keep it locked away in our religious refrigerator. God gave the Law to the Israelites centuries before Jesus lived telling them how to live together as a community. It was given for the good of all. It was an expression of God’s love. Love for God and love for neighbour undergirded it all. However, as the incident recorded in Luke 13:10-17 shows, God’s ancient law about Sabbath observance was sometimes applied without that love for neighbour. In the name of preserving God’s law the leader of the synagogue objected to God’s healing word being spoken to a crippled woman on the Sabbath day. A reminder that we too can try to wrap the word of God in packaging of our own making, keeping it under our own administration. But the word of God is dynamic, powerful, direct and effective for change. It cannot be preserved and brought out whenever it suits our purposes. As the word of the Lord took Jeremiah by surprise, it may very well surprise us. The word of God is a life-creating, life-renewing, life-changing presence. It is experienced as love – creative, healing, transforming love. Sometimes it comes as a call to a specific form of service, but to all it is the call to consistent, faithful, humble discipleship.
- Where in the Bible do you find reference to God speaking all creation into existence?
- Where in John’s Gospel do we find the assertion that Jesus was the word of God? (Start reading from the beginning if you are not sure)
- How can we, or the church, wrap the word of God in packaging of our own making in an attempt to keep it under our own administration?
- Have you received a word from the Lord? What is it like?