Monday, November 9, 2015

Looking Forward to November 15, 2015

The Scripture reading this week is: Hosea 11:1-9

The Sermon title is The God Who Will Not Let Go

Early Thoughts:  Grace.  Mercy. Forgiveness. Reconciliation.  Words that describe the God we meet in Scripture.  Words that resonate strongly with this passage.

A Colleague shared this image made based on the Hosea passage
Israel has turned away from God.  God reaches out but they keep turning away. They are even unable to recognize and name that God is with them, protecting them, healing them. So God will give them up to their enemies. And if the passage ended at verse 7 then all those nice words I listed up above would be totally absent.

But we have more.  God changes God's mind. God realizes God can NOT give up on the people. As a loving parent whose child has gone astray God wants to give up.  God may even believe the child needs to fall in order to learn.  But God can simply not give up, God can not let go, God can not forget God's people.

Elsewhere in Hosea we have the object lesson of a man married to an unfaithful wife.  But the husband can not give up and cast her away.

That is who God is. God is gracious, forgiving and merciful. God continuously strives to be reconciled with God's (often recalcitrant and stiff-necked) people.  At various points in the prophets we hear about how God will allow Judah and Israel to be destroyed, this is true.  But also at various point in the prophets God promises redemption and renewal.  For example this song based off of Isaiah 49:

In the event that lies at the center of our faith, the life death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, we meet this God, the God who will not let go, who will not forget, who will not abandon. This is the God who appeared in a bush to Moses, who led the people out of slavery, who gave the people a Rule of Life.  This is the GOd of Grace, of Mercy, Of Reconciliation.  This is the God who we continue to meet in our lives.

And that is a good thing.  THanks be to God.

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