- In the Revised Common Lectionary used by the Episcopal Church, one of the Old Testament readings for this week is the following:Jeremiah 1:4-10The word of the LORD came to me saying,"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."Then I said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy." But the LORD said to me,"Do not say, 'I am only a boy';for you shall go to all to whom I send you,and you shall speak whatever I command you,Do not be afraid of them,for I am with you to deliver you,says the LORD."Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the LORD said to me,"Now I have put my words in your mouth.See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms,to pluck up and to pull down,to destroy and to overthrow,to build and to plant."For many of us, the last few weeks have been the waning days of summer. No matter what the calendar tells us, summer ends with the first day of school. Some U.S. school districts have already begun the school year. Others, like our local district, will begin this week.As we begin the school year, it wouldn't be surprising if we -- students, teachers, parents, family members -- felt as Jeremiah did when he said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy." I know I have felt "I do not know how to speak, for I am only..." Fill in the blank -- only a woman? Only a homemaker? Only a teacher? Only a lay person? The list of "onlys" can go on.God has the answer to that: As he told Jeremiah:"Do not say, 'I am only a boy';
for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you, Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD."
The key words here are "go to whom I send you" and "speak whatever I command you." When we listen to God with careful prayer and discernment, we are acting in accordance to his will. We can be confident that God is with us, and we can move forward without fear.In my case, I'm the grandparent of a boy with diabetes. I am his caregiver while my daughter works during the day. There will be many times in the school year when I may be called to advocate on his behalf in order for him to get the accommodations he needs to be successful in school. This is my calling, my God-given role for this time in our family's life.God will give me the strength and wisdom to advocate on my grandson's behalf, to assist his mother in his care, and to speak with authority regarding his needs.What has God called you to do? Where has he sent you? Spend some time with these verses and see where he leads you.