Age is No Barrier
Based on a sermon written by Bishop Robert Bartholomaeus
The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
” Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young’. You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.
Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.
The passage above talks about Jeremiah’s call to be a prophet. It highlights for us number of things.
- He was young
- He was not sure of his call
- God appointed him
- God gives him the words to say
- God told him that He would be with him.
Jeremiah was young when he was called. Some say in his twenties, others even in his teens.
This reminds us that God uses people no matter their age for his purposes. Whether they are young or old. God uses old people. Moses was 80 when he started his ministry leading Israel. But God also uses young people. Samuel and David were only youth – like Jeremiah- when they were called by God. Jesus himself was young at the age of 30.
Some people make judgements about a person based on their age. Too old to do something, or too young to have the experience. Whatever the perception of others about you, it’s not what they think, or even what you think about yourself. What matters is the call of God.
But if you need other young leaders from today to inspire you, there is always Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand. She started her leadership of New Zealand at the age of 37. Some four years ago now. The current Prime Minister of Finland is the youngest Prime Minister in the world. A woman Sanna Marin, currently 36 but has been in the job since she was 34. A truly inspirational leader. And if she is not enough there is Giacomo Simoncini the Captain Regent of the country of San Marino who is a mere 27 years of age. God also works through the old. So we must make reference to Joe Biden president of the USA who is currently 79.
In our schools we have staff who have been called to fulfil a range of roles, teacher, principal, administrator, Support officer, grounds person, business manager and finance officers and others. The important message we can take from this passage in Jeremiah is age is not a determining factor when we are called. What is more important is the call to your vocation. And even if we are uncertain about our abilities to fulfil our vocation God will be with us as we do.