Reconciliation and redemption are constant themes of the biblical narrative because we so often need them. We see individuals, families, tribes, and nations turning away from the path of justice and love and toward their own destruction again and again. It’s easy from our distanced perspective to think these people...
Spirit who knows the secret thoughts of my heart, who knows my weakness and my strength, show me the ways I seek negative peace rather than the fullness of righteousness. Deepen the desire of my heart for a world made in your image, God of justice, Spirit of love. Amen.
Hosea can be a difficult book with troublesome metaphors. 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.
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 the wider community, or in your relationship with God?
Read Colossians 2:6-19. Paul teaches us the value of community. How can you help make the community more just?
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.