People do some weird things sometimes. I once saw my brother jumping around on one foot, pulling his ear and leaning his head sideways. When I asked him, he explained he was trying to get water out of his ear. Whatever weird things people do, there’s always a reason for the behaviour.
Today at church we consider a love story, but a most unusual one. The story of a man who married a prostitute. It was a weird thing to do, and no doubt there were some awkward moments at the wedding ceremony, but Hosea did it not just to love his wife Gomer, but as a living parable of the love of God for people.
The great challenge of the story for us is who we identify with. We can sympathise with Hosea, who pursues his faithless wife with the passion of a lover rarely seen in the face of unfaithfulness. Hosea’s undying commitment to the relationship is not only inspiring. In the genius of the book, it shows us the very heart of God.
We find it a little more uncomfortable to place ourselves in Gomer’s sandals. We like to think of ourselves as basically good people who try to do the right thing. The problem is, even our good deeds are so often tarnished by selfish motives, that the holy God winces when we pat ourselves on the back for doing what we should have been doing anyway.
Nevertheless, the love of God is such that he continues to call a wayward people back to himself, and the offer of a personal relationship – indeed, a loving intimate relationship with God – is always there for those who will forsake self and turn to our divine lover.
Ray Robinson (Bulletin 17/2/2019).
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God!”
(1 John 3:1)