Submitted by Jan on Tue, 29/01/2013 – 21:14
Year A (2013-2014)
Bible Book: Jeremiah / Jeremia
Chapter: 1
Verse: 4 – 10
Verse (to):
Reading through many commentaries written about this text, I get the same message from many of the learned writers. Over and over I read that this is a “typical” story of a prophet being called. We read that the story of Jeremiah’s calling is told in a similar way as the calling of Moses, of Gideon and of other prophets: God calls someone to be a prophet, the individual objects or tries to convince God that he is not the right person for the job, God reassures the prophet and then commissions him to a task.

Many other important points are made: that it is God who initiates the action, that the one who is called often responds with fear, that God assures and reassures, that this calling and response is often in a context of intimacy between God and man, that human limitations are not barriers to being used by God, that being called by God does not mean that there will not be any struggle or conflict, in fact, exactly the opposite.

But while I read all these texts of dramatic callings, of burning bushes and dewed fleeces, of direct, loud and clear calls, I also knew that not all people receive their calling this way. Looking back, I know that my involvement in the HIV terrain did not come after a dramatic call.

Rather, there were moments when a door opened just a little bit, when my action or someone else’s reaction just nudged me in a new direction.

When I look back over many years it seems as if many foundations were laid and bricks were built that led me to this time and this place.

If you asked me today if I were called to HIV work, or if I was called to CABSA, I would answer “Without a doubt!”

Yet there are just as many things that would seem like an obstacle in the way of this calling. I could just as easily have said, “No, this is not God calling, this is not what God wants for me or for CABSA.”

Although I do hear dramatic stories of God calling people today, I wonder if “quiet calls” are not true for more of us. Maybe the few dramatic callings we read about in the Bible or hear about today are not the norm. Maybe callings are more often seen looking back than looking to the future.

Of course this makes it more difficult! I often wish that God would speak to me in a burning bush, or touch my lips with a burning coal, or even with writing on the wall!

Sometimes responding to a calling means just taking the next step, just doing what is before you, responding to the whisper rather than responding to a loud and dramatic call.

To think about: If you think about the last week, which whispers could have been God calling to you in the HIV epidemic?

Author: van Rooyen L (Ms)
Language: English