Just some thoughts on the readings we will hear tomorrow…
First Reading – Jeremiah 1:4-10, 17-19
Sometimes we hear a testimony about someone’s amazing transformation. Someone had been a drug addict but is now a preacher. Another was abused and abandoned but is now a loved and loving child of God. A favorite is the celebrity who is now a Christian. Jeremiah had no such testimony. The Lord set him apart for the work of the ministry before he was born. Perhaps he has done the same thing with us. Regardless, the Lord is with us in our service for him.
Psalm – Psalm 71:1-11
We all struggle with our faith from time to time. Here is a Psalm for the struggle. In the battles of life, God is a fortress, a rock of refuge in whom we may confidently trust for protection and deliverance. He is such a certain hope that we may return to him over and over again, continually finding him to be the rock of our salvation.
Second Reading – 1 Corinthians 12:31b-13:13
We should desire the best or greater gifts from the Lord. But there is a more excellent way than being a gifted teacher or prophet or church planter. There is something far better than acquiring great gifts. The more excellent way of the Spirit is love.
Gospel – Luke 4:31-44
Sometimes pastors feel like they have no authority, that the words they preach and teach have nothing behind them. Jesus taught with authority, but part of the reason for that authoritative delivery was his power to cast out demons and heal the sick. What do poor pastors have that lends authority to their teaching? Indeed. We have Christ! Preach Christ crucified and all of his miracles, power, and authority are behind every word you teach and preach. More than that, the Holy Spirit is working in your ministry. God has put his word in your mouth (Jer 1:9); do not be afraid or dismayed (Jer 1:8, 17). Preach and teach with all the authority of Christ (Titus 2:15).