With this week’s Narrative Lectionary reading, we end our three-week series on God’s Plan for Peace. First, we looked at the way God wants us to live in Micah. Second, we reflected on the difference between the peace we find in our world and God’s peace in Isaiah. Now, we move to Jeremiah, with a two-part reading: Jeremiah’s call and one of Jeremiah’s prophecies.
Only a Boy
The first reaction of a person to God’s call to be a prophet is often some form of denial. Moses had a list of excuses, Jonah flat out ran away, and even Isaiah freaked out in the face of God’s holiness. For Jeremiah, it was his age. We don’t know how old Jeremiah was, and that’s not what matters. He felt inadequate for the role as a prophet of God, whether it was his education, experience, or self-confidence. God dismisses this worry because it is not about a prophet being adequate, but God calling, equipping, and speaking through a fallible, inadequate human being. We might not be adequate, but God is abundant.
Calling Young Prophets
When we think of God calling people to do God’s work, we often think of adults. However, when God calls, age is irrelevant. God calls children, youth, young adults, adults, and seniors. All people can be called as prophets. It’s important that we don’t ignore the gifts of the young people in our church, for they have much to offer us. This is also true of seniors, since they too can often be ignored.
Listening to Young Prophets
As with all prophets, we need to listen to young people to hear what God is saying to us. In the end, the message will be like what we received from the ancient prophets: God’s plan for peace. Through prophets, young or old, God corrects us when we leave the path of peace, and God promises a future that is defined by peace. But, people of different ages come to this message with different perspectives, and the more perspectives we have, the better we see the big picture of God’s work in, through, and for God’s world.
This is the benefit of cross+generational ministry. In cross+gen ministry, the focus is on learning from and teaching each other across the generational boundaries. This week, our free activity “Young Leaders” comes from our Living the Word: Cross+Gen Worship resource. In this activity, we lift up and learn from our younger leaders in our congregations and communities.
-Gregory Rawn (Publisher)
Advent is coming very soon! If you had ordered Fall resources or are interested in just getting started, you can order now for the Winter resources, which start on the first Sunday of Advent and go to Transfiguration Sunday. As soon as your payment is processed, you can download the Winter (and Spring) quarters immediately.
For more great ideas on how to engage participants of all ages in the story of God’s love, check out our Living the Word series for elementary students, youth, adults, and intergenerational settings!