Jeremiah 1:7 – But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak." (ESV)
In the wake of the tragic Parkland massacre, high school students in the United States have been much in the daily news. Young people are gravely concerned about the violence and want to make changes. Their voice is raw with intense feeling, and their statements are unfettered by any cultural niceties or social courtesy. They feel insecure and outraged; they express a strong desire to make a difference, so that their generation can live in a more peaceable world and a less intolerant one. They are determined not to let this moment pass away, so they are showing significant solidarity, which may eventually define this upcoming generation.
Sadly, some people are dismissing their views because they are young and inexperienced in the ways of the world. There is pushback against any proposed changes to current laws, and some folks are even disparaging the sincerity of the young people, accusing them of being political foils for clandestine groups. I find this difficult to accept because I've watched and listened to these young people on all sorts of different occasions, but I guess those who falsely promoted the conspiracy theories in the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut in 2012 are jumping on the same cynical bandwagon once more.
When God chose Jeremiah to be a prophet to his generation, Jeremiah pushed back against God's choice because he thought that he was too young. He couldn't see himself as being effective because of his age and inexperience, so he tried to get God to change His mind and pick someone else. But, as always, God knew what He was doing. He needed someone to be the voice of prophecy for an entire generation, someone who had decades of life ahead of him. God was enlisting Jeremiah's youthful zeal to a prophetic call that would constantly challenge God's people for many years. In other words, God knew what He was doing when He appointed Jeremiah to serve in the role of a prophet. No matter how young he was initially, God would use Jeremiah's voice for justice and mercy, truth and change. Perhaps He is still doing this with some high schoolers today.
Points to ponder: What kind of world do I want young people to live in? Am I willing to help them succeed in establishing this?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, when You were a teenager, You asked many questions in the temple, which amazed the elders and priests who heard You. Your life challenged traditional values and contemporary customs. You came both to save and to change the world. Allow us to continue Your ministry in our communities, so that we may make this planet a more peaceable and less fearful place. In Your holy name, we earnestly pray. Amen.
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