The Book of Hosea: “A Parable of Love for God’s People”
Readings: Hosea 4:1-3, 6; 5:13-15; 6:1-3, 6-7 and Mark 1:21-34
- Before reading our Scripture passages, open to God in prayer. You might want to make the Psalmist’s words your prayer for our new season of Ordinary time as we listen to the voice of God through the Minor Prophets. Keep in mind our “theme” for the season as you pray: Illuminating the past with – The light of the Present for – A guide into the Future
I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that You have done;
I ponder the work of Your hands.
I stretch out my hands to You;
My soul thirsts for You like a parched land.
Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love,
For in You I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
For to You I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:5-6, 8
- Eugene Peterson, in his comments about the book of Hosea, calls Hosea, the man, a living parable. God has invited Hosea, as his servant, to live out loud, to be a human billboard or motion picture film playing out the kind of love God has for his people and showing how God’s people have responded to his generous love. Hosea is a “parable of love to God’s people.”Put yourself into Hosea’s shoes. Or, put yourself into God’s shoes as you read Hosea 4:1-3, 6; 5:13-15; 6:1-3, 6-7 (if you have time, read the entire 3 chapters). What do you hear? How do the revelations, insights, and words of God impact you? How do these words and the emotions behind them make you feel? Spend some time in reflection as you read, listen, observe.
- What comes up in your own heart and mind as you hear God’s words? Is there any need of confession? Is there anything you’d like to explore more deeply as you look at your own heart and life? Take time to pray, inviting God into what you’ve noticed about yourself, your life. Make known your intentions, desires, areas of struggles. Invite God’s Spirit to help you explore areas that might need to change.
- Narrow your focus on Hosea 6:1-3, 6-7. Spend some moments thoughtfully re-reading this passage. Read, along with Hosea 6, the Gospel account in Mark 1:21-34. The invitation of Hosea is “come…”Mark tells us that an entire city came out to meet Jesus to experience the dynamic of his healing power. The Lord Jesus is merciful and willing to heal our wounds, our diseases, our emotional and spiritual weaknesses. Come… Take some more moments seeking and acknowledging God to receive from him restorative love and compassionate healing for whatever ails your soul.