The full text of this verse reads, “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.” More than anything, this shows that Jeremiah was God’s choice for the times: Jeremiah didn’t gain his fame through his own merits, but because of what God did through him. And Jeremiah worked through a very difficult time in Israel’s history – the exile. So this verse also reminds me that God had placed Jeremiah in this place and time to be a voice of hope, even through tears. Psalm 139 echoes the same sentiment: “It was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” These verses convince me of the beauty of baptizing infants, among other things: even before birth, God knew and loved Jeremiah and this Psalmist. Before they could be aware of anything, God already knew them and loved them, just like God knows and loves each of us: perfectly, unconditionally, as infants, children, teenagers, adults, all the way through to our deathbeds – and beyond.