So someone asks you to do something.  But you’re not sure it’s for you.  It seems scary.  You’re not convinced you can do it.  And yet…

… you are asked

By Firmin Baes (Art Renewal Center) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Before you were born, I chose you…

Last nights episode of the fabulous Call the Midwife had a side story of calling, following it, and it’s effects.

Of course she’s got to go, she’s got a calling

And now we have Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 1:4-10

The Lord Chooses Jeremiah

The Lord said:

“Jeremiah, I am your Creator,
and before you were born,
I chose you to speak for me
to the nations.”

I replied, “I’m not a good speaker, Lord, and I’m too young.”

“Don’t say you’re too young,” the Lord answered. “If I tell you to go and speak to someone, then go! And when I tell you what to say, don’t leave out a word! 8

The Lord reached out his hand, then he touched my mouth and said, “I am giving you the words to say, 10 and I am sending you with authority to speak to the nations for me. You will tell them of doom and destruction, and of rising and rebuilding again.”

God has chosen Jeremiah.  He has called him to speak for him.

Jeremiah is not sure…

There are good reasons Lord, why you wouldn’t choose me

I’m not a good speaker – and I’m too young anyway.

They are excuses!

God has called.  God will give the words to say.  Jeremiah goes, not in his own strength and power, but Gods.  There is a message to bring – and Jeremiah is the man to do it.  God had chosen him, long before he was born.

God calls to us.

Does that worry us? Scare us?  Make us feel inadequate?  Overwhelmed?  Under-prepared?

How shall we respond?

I remember when I was “invited” to consider becoming a local preacher.  I could not contemplate even writing a sermon.  By nature I am a scientist/mathematician, stringing words together in a coherent sentence with the correct structure was terrifying and seemed impossible (you may have noticed that!).  I am a child of my generation when creative writing was not taught, but just expected to happen – and certainly never corrected if it was wrong.  Although I have always loved reading, writing is just not my “thing”.  How could I write enough words to make up a sermon?

I was persuaded to give it a try.  I genuinely set about writing my first sermon expecting it to be my last, no idea how I would do it.   I still have no idea where the words come from, but come they do, purely, I believe, because it was what God was asking of me.  The amazing thing that happened was that first day, I turned up with a sermon written on the Old Testament reading (against all the rules!), about the plea for materials to build the Temple, to a church that had just had a quinquennial report saying the gable end was in need of major repair and they needed to launch a building scheme…  OK God, so I get your point.

And if God can do that in me, he must be able to do it in anyone.

God has many tasks to be done, as we have seen in recent weeks readings.  There are many ways to speak for him – not all are preaching in church.

I don’t know what God is asking of you today, but I can guarantee that if he has calls, he is equips.

Whatever reservations we have about ourselves, God doesn’t.  He has chosen you for a task because you are the one who can do it.  And he assures you that he will give you the words you need when you need them.

Today, this is his word to you:

 I promise to be with you and keep you safe, so don’t be afraid.

I thank you Lord,

that you call to me,

to work with you,

and speak for you.

Even though it scares me,

I feel inadequate,

I’m not sure that’s me…


as I respond,




I thank you

that you have chosen me,

and promise to be with me

and keep me safe

~ by pamjw on January 28, 2013.

8 Responses to “Excuses”

  1. thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou etc

  2. 🙂
    I do not write the lectionary, I only comment on it!

  3. I know… God’s timing is – well – you know! 😀 (and you don’t know hwat happened yesterday to make this even more profoundly significant… I’ll attempt to DM in a bit to explain, but 140 characters really isn’t very many…

  4. Spot on Pam – as usual! I sometimes look at the Lectionary and wonder what on earth I’m supposed to do with it and usually something happens in the week, maybe woken in the night – a thought, or an article in the paper that is a seed – and words come. These have been some of my better sermons, and all inspired by God. We just have to be open and receptive and obedient. A lot of my book has come this way – have a look if you’ve time. It’s not meant for Christians but for ‘enquirers’ – but I’m hoping Christians will want to pass it on to enquirers. Any thoughts? Greville

    • It’s a useful re-telling of the story that, as Christians, we can become over familiar with. Thanks for sharing, hope it goes well

  5. Thanks!
    I’ll have a look at the book and get back to you

  6. Like this why the early apology?

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