In my last post I expressed how God opened my eyes giving me a peek into His insights. I learned about His Love and Patience in the face of our, and quite frankly, my indifference.
He waited for me while I spent much of my life in a busy fog trying to be everything to everybody. Yet in a secular world, I cannot be good enough, or smart enough. The spiritual realm is different.
The rules are different in the Spirit. Remembering Jesus Today 114 by Sarah Young, I thought about how God’s thoughts are higher than ours could ever be. Let’s get back into what happened during the Mass on Sunday.
The readings on Sunday taught me about Jeremiah’s appointment as a Prophet by God Himself1, the Apostle Paul teaching about spiritual gifts especially love2, and Jesus speaking the truth in Nazareth3.
The Deacon said something interesting about Paul’s teaching concerning the gifts of the Spirit. I’m not sure what he said exactly but I wrote on my bulletin “Paul encourages us to strive eagerly for spiritual gifts.” This led into how God gave these gifts to Jeremiah.
Faith, hope and love were part of Jeremiah’s gift of prophecy from God. Jeremiah would know opposition, God told him in verse 1:17; “…Do not be terrified on account of them, or I will terrify you before them.” God is very clear. Jeremiah needed his faith in God and it had to be strong. Hope followed the warning in verses 1:18-19; “For I am the one who today makes you a fortified city…They will fight against you, but not prevail over you, for I am with you to deliver you – oracle of the Lord.” If I go back to the beginning of the passage (verses 1:4-5) God expresses his love for Jeremiah in a beautiful way: God says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.”
How beautiful it is to see the spiritual gifts planned before Jeremiah was born. He was given faith to stand for God’s truth, hope for deliverance, and the Love of God in the creation of his life. Jeremiah had to make the choice to use the gift of prophecy along with faith, hope and love. I’m glad he did, I can’t imagine my life without the Book of Jeremiah in it.
At first, the Gospel didn’t seem to fit the other passages. Jesus spoke truth in his hometown and was driven from it by anger neighbors. Our Deacon pointed out that the truth angers people. They chase God out of the public square and sometimes we chase Him from our homes.
When I heard this my mind turned to my struggle to find my writer’s voice. It was the choice to include or exclude God in my stories. Like Jeremiah I could not deny God. I made the decision to walk a harder path as far as book sales and marketing are concerned. In prayer I found, His Love is my light. Do I hide the Light? I’d asked myself. I lost the end of the homily because my mind was on another passage not in the daily readings. Matthew 5:14-16:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” [NKJV]
I don’t want to hide God’s Light or His Love. Why would we light a lamp just to cut off the light? What would be the purpose? It is a waste of light and fuel. So the question is: Do we continue to hide Light?
Love is not easy. When our love is rejected or misused, we hurt. Just like Jeremiah hurt when his people would not listen to God. He loved them and God loved them. Here’s the thing about God’s Love, it never ceases. It is powerful and remains with us even when we are indifferent to Him or reject Him. His Love is what transforms us from weak to strong. It works constantly in the background growing from the seeds planted by God’s people around us.
We may not get to physically hear God’s call like Jeremiah. But remember like Jeremiah, God knew you before He formed you. He also dedicated you before you were born. A lucky few know the call of God from childhood, some of us run from the thought of God, and a few like me finally figure it out a half a century after our birth. Yes! I finally figured our I am a Christian Writer. If we take the time to notice His Love growing and nurture it we will bloom into what God created us.
God Bless your path today,
P.S: Yes, I’m the late bloomer in the family! 😀
1Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
21 Corinthians 12:31 through 13:13