The call of Jeremiah reminds us of our own call to discipleship and ministry. We often think of ministry of something we do, and discipleship as something we complete or achieve. Discipleship then becomes a lot of ‘doing’ while ministry becomes tiring as we strive to do what God calls us to do.
What if ministry was an outflow of our being, rather than our doing?
What if discipleship is a matter of uncovering what God sees in us, rather than a program we complete?
David was just a shepherd boy, but God saw a King in him. If we think of the rest of David’s life as discipleship, then it was a matter of uncovering the king in him. God saw a prophet in Jeremiah, and Jeremiah had a hard life – nobody likes a prophet of doom. But he could not help but prophesy, because that is who he was. It was an outflow of the prophet he was. But this outflow of ministry will not work without love.
Paul writes to the Corinthians that all the spiritual gifts in the world would mean nothing if there is no love as the motivating factor. When we function out of that love, our ministry is effective. Things happen. When we do not, it is just more work.
The gospel reading points out that great love that Jesus has for his people. Driven out of his own hometown, by his own people, he still comes back to die for them. In order for us to function out of that love, we need to first realize the great depth and breadth and height of God’s love for us.