Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Call and the Commission of the Apostles
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”(V.5)
When we think of “prophets” and “disciples” we think of men of great gravitas, with powerful booming voices, long flowing beards, and a larger-than-life-presence, compelling us to change our ways through their influence and compelling oration. The Bible shows us, however, that those who are called to discipleship and ultimate sacrifice are actually often reluctant, unwilling, and weak - unlikely candidates for God’s purposes. Jeremiah’s first reaction to God’s call, in today’s passage, is to say “alas, Sovereign Lord, I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” Jesus’ disciples were not well-educated men of great stature in the community. Rather, they were fishermen, tax collectors, simple men without great learning. Days after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, he finds that his disciples have returned to their fishing life. After all that they had witnessed and learned in their years of travel with them, their first reaction after his death was to retreat to the simple tasks that made them comfortable. Ultimately, it was these few simple men who carried Christ’s word to the world. They were called out of weakness, and not strength, for God’s purposes. As we are reminded in Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2Cor.12:9)
Just over twenty months ago I became a father, to our twin sons Isaiah and Elijah. Their arrival in this world was, in many ways, a great miracle, and one which I will always credit to God’s great mercy. They have grown a lot since they arrived into this world, learning to crawl, walk, and now talk. And they have begun to copy those around them, to mimic the behavior that they see, especially from their parents. As they have begun to copy their parents, I have thought more and more about the influence they have had on me and my life. Their simple copy-cat behavior has challenged their parents to do our best to adhere to and model Christ’s commandments at all times. When we fail, their simple and innocent reactions remind us to return to God’s way. In their own way, they serve as prophets to us, a force here on Earth to remind us of our walk with Christ, and the importance of adhering to His will for the future.
What we can and should learn is that God’s prophets are all around us, calling us back to Him through their weakness- a child who looks to you as a role model, a sick person who needs care, the poor and needy all around us. These people challenge us, through their need, to do God’s will. Their very existence, and need, is just as compelling as John the Baptist’s “voice calling from the desert.” Similarly, we are called to be God’s prophets and disciples, to reach out to others through our testament, our lives, and our every action. .
Thought for the Day: Who are God’s appointed prophets in your life? Who has led you to a deeper faith? Have you recognized God’s voice, when He has spoken to you through others? And who might you lead to deeper faith through your testament and witness? Do you live as a prophet, or are you hampered by your fear?
Prayer: Lord, let me be your prophet, in all my ways, to those that you have placed as witnesses to my deeds and words. Lord, let me also hear Your call, in the prophets that you have sent to keep me mindful of Your will…Amen
Ajit J. Thomas, Carmel Mar Thoma Church, Massachusetts