In our Old Testament reading today we hear a harsh rebuke of God against the priests, the royal family and Israel more generally. Hosea does not mince his words and likens the hearts of Israel to prostitution, turning to their own ways and forsaking their savior and God. Even in the face of judgement…
Ephraim saw his sickness and Judah his sores,
They STILL refuse to turn to God and instead…
turned to Asssyria, and sent to the “great king” for help.
But this is a fickle prop that does not result in relief of their afflictions. It appears that Israel continues to refuse to turn to God… until they have hit rock bottom
In their misery they will earnestly seek me
This scripture certainly rings true in my experience. Sometimes we have to be broken before we can acknowledge our need of a savior. Perhaps you, like me, have attempted to prop up your life with things that don’t give answers, don’t satisfy and only aggravate our ‘misery’. For me, I attempted to prop up my life with possessions, relationships, ever more extreme experiences, a sense of belonging – always searching for something more. It took till I was broken beyond my ability to recover to acknowledge my brokenness and turn to Christ.
In our gospel reading several things stand out for me.
- We gain a glimpse of the spiritual world beyond the physical one. Jesus demonstrates his absolute authority over the spiritual realm
I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not
We are reminded to take our role as Christ’s ambassadors seriously.
- We are to humbly walk in the world and with our brothers and sisters in Christ
Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and servant of all
- We are to extend hospitality and look after those entrusted to us
Whoever welcomes on of these little children in my name welcomes me
- Our lives are to reflect our saviour with all integrity
Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again?
What stands out for you?
I pray as we reflect as a nation today regarding the sacrifices made for us in war that we would also reflect on the ultimate sacrifice for us in Jesus
The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise