Readings for the Week of August 24

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Readings for the Week of August 24th

Psalm 71:1-6Jeremiah 1:4-10Hebrews 12:18-29Luke 13:10-17

Reading all of Scripture requires significant emotional range. Jeremiah is known as the “weeping prophet”. His weeping is played out in detail in the book of Lamentations. In it, Jeremiah mourns over the loss of Jerusalem and the Exile of Judah. Jeremiah is a reminder to us that God is with us even in the midst of sorrow and in the middle of suffering. This week’s reading from Jeremiah says this in an especially powerful way. God says to the soon to be prophet:

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. - v. 5

God appointed Jeremiah to speak on his behalf. Jeremiah spoke judgment. He prophesied doom and deliverance. And, it was all God’s words. But, God made it clear to Jeremiah that he would not be alone forever. God would deliver him from the calamity and he would, eventually, deliver him from the pain of his vocation. Jeremiah could not help doing what God had called him to but he didn’t always love it. Vocation, as Frederick Buechner says, is that place where “you deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” May we be true to our call, even when it hurts. May we obey the voice of vocation, even when we hurt.

Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Paul Hill