The word of the Lord came to me:Before I created you in the womb, I selected you;Before you were born, I consecrated you;I appointed you a prophet concerning the nations.I replied:Ah, Lord God!I don't know how to speak,For I am still a boy.And the Lord said to me:Do not say, 'I am still a boy,'But go wherever I send youAnd speak whatever I command you.Have no fear of them,For I am with you to deliver you--Declares the Lord.Jeremiah 1:4-8
No more "I know I'm young" apologies after this one. I have noticed that I tend to preface many of my comments with a statement about my age. Maybe it's because the average age of a United Methodist pastor is around 56 (or is it 58?) so when I find myself in clergy meetings, or committee meetings, or any kind of meeting where I am the youngest member the apologies begin.Maybe this is how Jeremiah felt in the company of the other prophets. He was familiar with them and felt intimidated and out of place. God would have none of the excuses. His age did not matter, God had called, empowered, and sent.Today we continue to ask where the young people in the church. Many of them want nothing to do with the church but I believe that they still are deeply hungry and searching for spiritual things. Those of us in younger age groups who are leaders in the church have a special responsibility to reach out to our generation. Those who are older need to recognize that we are young but that God has called us and the church has given us authority.I will have no fear, I will move forward. God has called me and many young people to be prophets in our world today. Let us proclaim it with boldness!