There is an argument that says humans are not really human until they become self-aware. The Wikipedia dictionary says, “Self-awareness is the capacity for introspection and the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the 31 the meaning of lifeenvironment and other individuals.” That is to suggest that the beginning of life is a subjective issue. We become who we are only when we become capable of comprehending it. Eugene Peterson has a great answer to this. He writes, “My identity does not begin when I begin to understand myself. There is something previous to what I think about myself, and it is what God thinks of me. That means that everything I think and feel is by nature a response, and the one to whom I respond is God. I never speak the first word. I never make the first move.” Now speaking of my favorite Old Testament Prophet Peterson continues, “Jeremiah’s life didn’t start with Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s salvation didn’t start with Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s truth didn’t start with Jeremiah. He entered the world in which the essential parts of his existence were already ancient history. So do we.”

Jeremiah 1:1-5 is a passage filled with significance for every person. It speaks to us of a personal God who knows each of us and desires intimacy with each of us and has a plan and a purpose for each of us. Although these words were spoken by God to Jeremiah, God preserved them for each of us as well. He wrote, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” We’ve not been called to be a prophet to the nations in the same sense as Jeremiah was, but we are called by God specifically to a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. As followers of Jesus we are then called to “make disciples” according to Matthew 28:19-20. Now this mission, appointed by God, is a corporate one. No one is in on it alone! It’s the mission that Jesus gave the church as a whole. As Adeyemo says, It’s “…a direct call to believers to participate in God’s ministry as prophets rather than merely as passive spectators. In the midst of superhuman forces, the church as a whole has a prophetic role.”

We become all that God intended for us to be when we embrace Christ in faith and hear the call of mission He has given us and participate in the process. As Ryken observes, “Jeremiah’s calling is not for everyone. The first chapter of Jeremiah is mainly about his call for his times, not your call for your times. But you do have a call. God not only knows you and chose you, he has a plan for your life.” My favorite verse in the whole book of Jeremiah says more about God’s plan for our lives. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Responding to God’s love for us on the cross and to His call to believe and participate in the corporate mission of the church is what makes us truly all that God wants us to be. In it we prosper. In it we find hope and a bright future.