Today is “Call Day” at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary—where I was trained to be a pastor. Call Day is the day when new pastor graduates are assigned into their first congregations. They don’t get to choose. They don’t find out in advanced. The leaders of our national church body—after seeking God’s guidance—place them into congregations all around the country. Can you imagine that? To have your life and your future depend completely on other people?
Thankfully, the leaders of our national church body aren’t really the ones in control. On the prophet Jeremiah’s “Call Day”—on the day that God sent Jeremiah out to be a prophet—he gave Jeremiah this promise: “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” (Jeremiah 1:5). Whether you’re a future pastor or a mechanic or a stay-at-home mom or a rocket scientist, your life doesn’t depend on everybody else. You’re not subject to the whim of whoever has power. Even since you were an unborn baby, God’s had it all planned out. So don’t worry. Don’t be afraid! The God who sent his Son to save you, the God who knitted you together in your mother’s womb, the God who’s prepared a room for you in heaven, has you and your life in his hands.
Could you say this prayer with me today? “Dear Lord Jesus, we need pastors. We need men to share God’s Word with us. To point out our sins. To reveal how foolishly we trust in ourselves. To show us your grace. To tell us about our Savior Jesus. To give us comfort and peace and guidance from your Word. As you send out new pastors into your kingdom, allow them to trust in you and in your promises. Use them—and use us as we serve with them—to courageously tell the world about you. Because you’re what life’s all about. In your name we pray. Amen.”