Scripture: Hosea 3:1-5
Key verse: (1) The Lord said to me again, “Go, love a woman who has a lover and is an adulteress, just as the Lord loves the people of Israel, though they turn to other gods and love raisin cakes.”
Reflection: She came to meet with me in my office at the church to tell me about her husband’s affair. She came with tears in her eyes and wringing her hands back and forth with a dirty tissue. She came to ask if forgiveness is really possible.
The prophet Hosea was called to proclaim a metaphor. God’s love for the people of Israel was like the love of a husband for an unfaithful wife. That love was mixed with anger and hurt and resentment, but the love was still there underneath it all. God waited with open arms to welcome the people back when they repented. What a troubling metaphor for God’s relationship with humanity!
Sometimes marriage vows are broken. Sometimes the bonds of friendship are broken. Sometimes baptismal vows are broken. Not every broken bond or vow will be healed, but it is at least possible with God. If we are honest with ourselves, we admit that we have not been faithful as God’s people. We know we haven’t always made the right choices. We haven’t given selflessly, loved abundantly, or served enthusiastically. Our community doesn’t look much like God’s kingdom and we know we are at least partly to blame for that. Like an adulterous spouse, we turn back to God and ask for another chance. Every Sunday in worship we confess our sin, hear the good news of forgiveness, and then we share the gift of peace. Every single Sunday.
Prayer: Great is Thy faithfulness, Great is Thy faithfulness.
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness Lord unto me. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].