A student body often joins together to celebrate excellence and achievement – in sports or in academics – at a pep rally.

But when it comes to the life of faith, you don’t have to achieve great things to be celebrated.

God has created you and called you – and that’s something to celebrate!

So we pray:

God of Life, breathe into me the truth of your word.

Redeemer of Love, nurture my faith by the promises of your word.

Spirit of Peace, anchor my soul with your wisdom of your word.

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Then the Lord stretched out his hand, touched my mouth, and said to me, “I’m putting my words in your mouth. This very day I appoint you over nations and empires, to dig up and pull down, to destroy and demolish, to build and plant.”

Jeremiah 1:9-10

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I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be told what to do – even if I agree with what I’m being told. The right to freedom of choice is an inalienable right after all... right?

Today’s passage adds a nuanced understanding to that freedom. When God touches Jeremiah’s mouth to put words in them, God is not forcing Jeremiah to say this instead of that; rather, God is giving Jeremiah everything he needs to fulfill his life’s purpose as a prophet. Jeremiah can’t go it alone – it’s a daunting task!

God knows that. And God provides exactly what Jeremiah needs so that he can be faithful to the call.

Jeremiah isn’t being told what to do. He’s being equipped on how to be – how to be faithful to his calling.

God also guides us in how to be – how to be faithful as students with many responsibilities during a new and busy school year. This same God will provide us with what we need to be Christ-like in our attitudes and behaviors. May we choose to live with and for this faithful God.

Aram Bae

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God of purpose and power, teach me how to be faithful to your call. Thank you for appointing me to love the people in my life, even family members who are challenging to get along with and friends who seem to be changing. Help me to be the kind of person you see and call me to be. Amen.

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May God our Creator bless us and keep us.

May God the Redeemer smile upon us and be gracious towards us.

And may the Spirit of Truth lead us in the path of wisdom and peace.

And all of God’s people said: Amen.

Aram Bae

Aram Bae is the Associate Pastor for Youth & Mission at First Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, VA and teaches classes on faith development and religious identity. In addition to her passion for ministry with youth and families, she’s considering a new hobby — road biking. Help, Lord Jesus, help.

I Surrender All

Rodrigo Rodriguez

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