This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on August 21, 2016.
“The word of the Lord came to me,” declares Jeremiah. We gather for worship to place ourselves in this vulnerable position where the word of the Lord might come upon us. The high moment of Christian worship is the moment when the scripture is read giving expression to the voice of God. This text offers us an opportunity to ask ourselves a great question: Are we providing the appropriate setting that allows scripture to come alive in the context of our worship? How might we improve the platform upon which this part of worship is framed? How might the person(s) reading best prepare for this moment? Scripture should not only be read, but it should also guide our worship. How does this text set the mark on the horizon toward which all elements of worship might be directed? Isaiah reinforces this assertion, “Listen carefully to me,” says the Lord, “Incline your ear, and come to me. Listen, so that you may live.” (Isaiah 55:2-3).
Jeremiah articulates God’s long involvement in our lives. Even before we were formed in the womb, God had knowledge and understanding about us. God knew and approved of us even before our birth and claimed us to be his own. Before our birth the Holy One declared us to be holy and set apart for kingdom purposes (1:5). Early on, God appointed us to be spokespersons to the world, “a prophet unto the nations.”