READINGS for 2008-07-07
So I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. – Hosea 2:16
“WHAT?! You don’t have a TV in your house?” a friend exclaimed.
For most people, a television is high up in the list of must-have appliances in a home. Especially if you live alone. But when I got a place of my own two years ago, I furnished the condo with everything but that.
Honestly, I feel like I’m wasting time when I watch TV. For me, it’s a social activity — something I do with loved ones or friends.
I do watch videos and I get hooked when I have DVDs of a whole series but I don’t normally turn on the boob tube every day.
Instead of having the TV on, I cherish being alone with my thoughts. The silence has helped me keep clear my mind of the day’s stressors. I’ve also learned that it’s easier to tune in to the Lord’s presence when it’s quiet.
In the desert, where it’s devoid of clutter and distraction, the Lord speaks. Rissa Singson-Kawpeng
“By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies.” (Isaiah 30:15)
Silence my heart that I may hear You, Lord.
The prophet Hosea interprets the covenant God has made with us through the image of the marriage covenant of husband and wife. This marks a revolutionary change in Israel’s self-understanding. It also provides enormous scope for a reinvention of our understanding of God’s relationship with the individual. It brings God much closer to us and enables us to relate with Him with greater familiarity and surety. Yes, there is a danger for us to become over-familiar with God, but that danger is well worth the benefits and possibilities of this new understanding.
Hosea 2: 16, 7c- 8, 21-22
16 Thus say the Lord: I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. 17 She shall respond there as in the days of her youth, when she came up from the land of Egypt. 18 On that day, says the LORD, She shall call me “My husband,” and never again “My baal.” 21 I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; 22 I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the LORD.
P S A L M
Psalm 145: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R: The Lord is gracious and merciful.
2 Every day will I bless you, and I will praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the LORD and highly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable. (R) 4 Generation after generation praises your works and proclaims your might. 5 They speak of the splendor of your glorious majesty and tell of your wondrous works. (R) 6 They discourse of the power of your terrible deeds and declare your greatness. 7 They publish the fame of your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your justice. (R) 8 The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. 9 The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works. (R)
G O S P E L
Our God is the God of the unexpected. Just when you think something is impossible, it gets done through a seeming miracle of grace. I wonder how those who laughed at Jesus felt after He raised the official’s daughter from the dead? They would have felt almost obligated to place their lives in discipleship under Jesus because of what they had just experienced. I remain amazed at some peoples’ hardness of heart to the Gospel. They always seem to be able to find another excuse to delay committing their lives to God in faith.
Matthew 9: 18-26
18 While Jesus was saying these things to them, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples. 20 A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.” 22 Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.” And from that hour the woman was cured. 23 When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. 25 When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. 26 And news of this spread throughout all that land.
think:Our God is the God of the unexpected. Just when you think something is impossible, it gets done through a seeming miracle of grace.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Ezra 6-10
sPEak tO OUr hEart
Hosea’s ministry spanned over 30 years. He preached to the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel during a very stormy and tumultuous era, unstable politically and religiously. The threat of Assyria was imminent, people were turning away from God in unfaithfulness, and society on a whole was on the verge of collapse and ruin. Hosea was dealing with his own family concerns, that symbolized incredible prophetic insight for the relationship between Israel and her God.
God speaks through the prophet in the midst of these trials and difficulties. He aims to persuade the hearts and lives of the Israelites back to Himself. They will be led into the desert where God will speak to His Beloved. There in the desert God will communicate life, consolation and compassion for His people. The desert is that place where God speaks in quiet and solitude.
God is a God of tenderness and faithfulness. The hesed(Hebrew for unfailing love/loving kindness) of God describes His love as compassionate and faithful. As a man takes his bride whom he loves, cherishes and protects, so too God desires to espouse Israel as His Bride. The people have espoused themselves to Baal and exchanged the truth of God with a lie. They surrendered themselves to false gods who cannot save them. The unconditional love and tenderness of God will heal them and save them from deception and falsehood.
Perhaps you are in that desert wandering aimlessly and seeking God. He is with you. He will speak to you of His tenderness and fidelity. Let God espouse you to Himself once again. You are His beloved. Give your self to Him who knows and understands you. Do not allow yourself to succumb to the prince of darkness and deception, but submit to the Lord of loving kindness and truth. Fr. Brian Steele
Like Israel of old, are you wandering aimlessly in the desert and seeking God? Have you succumbed to false understandings and sinful behavior, ignoring and rejecting the righteousness of God?
Lord, thank You for Your love and faithfulness that excel all I ever knew of You. I want to rest in Your love. Thank You for calling me Your beloved. I belong to You. You are my God. Amen.
Blessed Lawrence Humprey, martyr of England, pray for us.
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