This post is part of a reflective Lenten series, originally published as Facebook posts on my personal account.
Lenten practice, day #25.
Reference: Hosea 3:1-5, 2:1-3
Short chapter today, short reflection.
(Note: Notice that there reference today is super weird. Turns out the first 3 verses of chapter 2 were put after chapter 3. I don’t know why, but that’s how it is. I didn’t even notice it until now. Early Biblical numberers were probably REAAALLLLY tired. Can’t blame ‘em.)
Today’s chapter is titled “The Day of the Lord” in my translation—a fitting declaration of the foreshadowed redemption contained therein. The very, very short chapter is all about how Hosea is being called to repeatedly take his wife back to him despite her infidelity as a sign of God’s unconditional love for his people.
The illustration is truly amazing. He showers his wife with gifts, allows her to understand that while she may not have upheld her end of the marriage vows, he loves her so unconditionally that he will STILL uphold his. Doing so won’t necessarily be a happy, romantic, race-back-into-my-arms-as-the-camera-pans-and-cue-romantic-music moment; Rather, it will be a hard-earned but extremely valuable lesson. But it expresses the REALITY of God’s love for us.
Like, man. Does that relieve anxiety or what?
(SAME DISCLAIMER AS BEFORE: If you’re in an abusive or unhealthy relationship, you DO NOT NEED TO STAY. Remember, God is perfect and we’re not. He can stay because he IS love. We are flawed. The message is the incredible nature of God’s love for us, not necessarily our love for each other. Yes, our relationshpis are to REFLECT God’s relationship with the Church, but they are not identical. God is a far more perfect lover than humans can ever be. Never stay in an abusive relationship on the grounds that you might be able to “fix it.” A relationship where one is being abused is not a reflection of authentic love anyway—love yourself and those who love you, and get out.)
Futhermore, at the end, even the names of the children are to be redeemed: No longer are they “not my people,” they will be called “Children of the living God!”
Not just “friends of God” or “people God can tolerate,” but CHILDREN. Beloved. Cherished. Innocent. Loved beyond words. Not just of some father, but of THE FATHER. God. The guy who formed entire galaxies in his hand and flung them far across a space we may never even be capable to explore—HE wants to be your dad. And he’s not some distant guy–not some old God of ancient stories who created and left (lookin’ at you, Russell Crowe), but the LIVING, the ACTIVE, the PHYSICALLY PRESENT God.
Goodness, I wish that wasn’t so overused. We rarely remember the power of those words.