I've written this short blog entry for this week's "Opening the Bible" reflection at i.ucc. What are your thoughts?
How far back can you remember? Can you remember seeing others who were once babys and who are now adults? Do you ever say things like "I knew you when you were this big!" to them?
This week's reading from Jeremiah 1:4-10 begins much like the sounds of an older adult speaking to a younger person who seems to have "grown up overnight" in the eyes of the older adult. So often I've heard (and said) "I know you when you were just a baby!" (Much to the embarrassment of the other person, of course)
God's words to the prophet Jeremiah may have been a little embarrassing, but it is more likely that words like that served to encourage a young prophet that he was on the right track and that God was present and a trustworthy guide. These words and the words afterwards served as encouragement for a boy to move ahead boldly to share the word of God with others.
And as others read these words, I believe they would be encouraged that this prophet truly was from God and that God was the one guiding him and inspiring him in the words he spoke.
However, I don't think the words have anything to do with the scientific or religious definition life. The context of this wonderfully moving passage offers encouragement -- not rules.
Feel free to visit i.ucc and join the discussion!