My given name ends with “Jr.” I was named for my dad, by my dad. He hoped and prayed that I would grow to be a good man. My dad knew me, named me, and nurtured me. He also called me “Bo.” It’s a nickname; my dad was a nickname kind of guy. My nickname came from a clown doll I carried as a baby. With that nickname came the responsibility to bring laughter into the world. And I believe we need more laughter in our world.

In today’s reading, the Lord speaks to Hosea and gives a name to each of Hosea’s children. Their names serve as specific prophetic warnings to the house of Israel, each with a special and specific meaning. God knows these children, names them, and nurtures them in the midst of a desperate situation. Each name carries meaning in any attempt to restore Israel to the covenant with God. These children, their names, mean something significant to God and to Hosea and Gomer.

What does your name mean? What is its significance? Perhaps you are named after someone significant in your family’s story. Perhaps you are named after a specific place or a significant event. Perhaps your name reflects your parents’ hope for your future—the type of person you may become or the life you may live. Hosea’s children are named as warnings from God about the future Hosea’s people can expect if they do not return to their covenant with God.

Despite the harsh warnings of Hosea and Gomer’s children’s names, God renews the covenant: “It shall be said to them, ‘Children of the living God.’” This week we will read about God’s continued faithfulness in restoring our covenant relationship.

God, I know you by so many names. Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim, El Shaddai, Abba. May each name remind me of your covenant with me. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 11:1-13

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Lectionary Week
July 22–28, 2019
Scripture Overview

Hosea can be a difficult book. This prophet is called to live with an unfaithful wife as an image of how Israel is unfaithful to God. Yet even in this initial statement of judgment, God includes a promise of restoration. Psalm 85 appeals to God’s steadfast love. God has become angry with the people for their unfaithfulness, and the people appeal for God’s mercy, which they are confident they will receive. The Colossians reading warns against replacing or even supplementing the simple truth of the gospel with human wisdom, religious rules, or anything else. We have fellowship with Christ through our faith. Jesus teaches us to ask God for what we need and for what we want just as we would ask a human parent.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Hosea 1:2-10. How is God reminding you of your covenant relationship?
Read Psalm 85. When have you needed to pray for restoration in your life? in your relationships with family and friends? in your relationship with God?
Read Colossians 2:6-19. Paul teaches us the value of community. How has your community restored you as you seek to be like Christ?
Read Luke 11:1-13. How has praying regularly changed you? If you do not pray regularly, start a practice now. Look for the ways it changes you.

Respond by posting a prayer.

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