Closer than Our Own Selves – Br. Lain Wilson

Jeremiah 20:7-13
Psalm 18:1-7

What do you do when all options in front of you are bad ones?

This is the situation that Jeremiah finds himself in this morning. God has called him to his vocation as a prophet, to proclaim God’s word. In doing so, Jeremiah is mocked and plotted against, even by those close to him. In not proclaiming God’s word, though, he experiences pain, “something like a burning fire” (Jer 20:9).

All this because of who God has called him to be.

Is it any surprise, then, that Jeremiah hurls against God one of the bitterest invectives in Scripture? Different translations have different force—“O Lord, you have enticed me,” “you have seduced me,” “you have deceived me” (Jer 20:7)—but the basic accusation is that God has broken trust, that God has forced the prophet into submission.[1]

This is an accusation you can only hurl against someone you deeply love.

And it is, perhaps, something that we can relate to.

God calls each of us in ways that we may not understand, that we struggle to accept, that we may rail against. Our vocations, our experiences, our very lives may be excruciating mysteries to us. For reasons beyond our understanding, we may, like Jeremiah, end up in places and at times asking ourselves, “how did this come to be,” able only to cry to God, “Is this what you intend for me?” Read More

When You’re Discouraged – Br. David Vryhof

David Vryhof SSJE 2010Jeremiah 20:7-13
John 10:31-42

You may recall that when God called Jeremiah to be a prophet, he tried to avoid the call by protesting that he was too young.  God reassured him that God would be with him and that he would be given the words to speak.  Unfortunately for Jeremiah, the words that God gave him were harsh words: he was to warn the Israelites that unless they turned from their wicked ways, God would deliver them into the hands of their enemies and they would be carried into captivity. Read More

Short Prayers – Br. David Allen

Jer. 20:7 & 13

Today I want to speak about short prayers.  There are two powerful short prayers in our Reading from Jeremiah. The first of them is, “O Lord, you have enticed me, and I was enticed; you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed.” (Jer. 20:7).  The second one is “Sing to the Lord; Praise the Lord!  For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hand of evildoers.” (v. 13)

The first of these was the acknowledgment of a call from God, a vocation to the life of a prophet.  It brought with it humiliation and some sense of being shunned by others.  But Jeremiah also overcame that and persevered in his vocation.   That brought him to trust in God and commit himself to serving God. Read More