Jeremiah 20:9

Jeremiah said, “If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ then within me there is something like a burning fire.” Jeremiah 20:9

Jeremiah has reasons not to mention the name of the Lord anymore and to give back to the Lord his ministry as a prophet. He was struck and put in the stocks (Jeremiah 20:1ff). He was in derision; everyone mocked him (Jeremiah 20:7). His fellowmen devised plans against him (Jeremiah 18:18); they sought to kill him; they had dug a pit for his life (Jeremiah 11:18-21 and 18:20). All this he suffered, and he had not asked to become a prophet – the opposite! (Jeremiah 1:6).

Jeremiah suffered from two ends: Because he belonged to the nation, he suffered together with the people the wrath of the Lord. And because he said things in the name of the Lord, which the people did not like to hear, he suffered from the people.
Jeremiah was frustrated and tired. Who would not understand him?

We have reached the end of the Christmas Season. The Twelve Days of Christmas are over. There was lots of food; friends and family came together; the days were really good – and now the new year has come, waiting for us with its challenges, calling us back to work and the daily routine. The only ray of hope is the upcoming public holiday on January 21st. We need to give ourselves a push to rise up from the comfortable couch and to get going again.

For us it is only to overcome the sluggishness after a good time of holidays.
For Jeremiah it was more. But God did not let him go despite his lamentations and complains. God held him to the task, promising to keep him (Jeremiah 15:20f). Jeremiah felt something like a burning fire within him. He could not but do the LordÂ’s work with passion.

Today, on Epiphany the Watchword for the Week calls us: Arise! Shine! For your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you (Isaiah 60:1).

Therefore let us rise to do with passion for the Lord whatever task lies ahead of us in the new year. Let the LordÂ’s light be reflected in the way you do what ever you are called to do.
To the work! to the work! we are servants of God, let us follow the path that our Master has trod.

Lord, let your love within us be like a burning fire keeping us working for you with passion. Let your light shine through us and through how we do our work. Amen.


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