Enough Excuses

Why did translators chose the verb “come” for when God calls a prophet? To say: “The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah” sounds as if he received a letter, an email, or a text message. Are there better words to indicate the life changing transformation he experienced?

The Hebrew verb in most calls, including the call of Jeremiah, can also be translated as “to cause to happen.” Thus the 4th verse of the book of Jeremiah could read: “Now the word of the LORD happened to me saying: …” Considering how a few words from God had irrevocably changed Jeremiah’s life, “happened” feels more appropriate than “came.” For God appointing him: “over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”

Has the word of the LORD ever happened to you, irrevocably changing your life? Martin Luther in the 16th century affirmed parenting as a call from God, even in the details of changing a dirty diaper. For the birth of a child irrevocably changes one’s life, as does marriage, even a new job, or perhaps a volunteer position.

I will have more to say about Jeremiah 1:4-10 at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church at 8:15 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 3rd.
Robert Shaw, Pastor

The best known chapter that Saint Paul wrote begins: “If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

Children frequently tease a peer if they make a clothing error, such as wearing mismatched socks. Of course this teasing only alienates a potential friend. Have you asked your child for ideas on how they might show love instead of sounding like a noisy gong?