“When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, ‘Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.’“ Hosea 1:2 (NIV)
Traditionally during the last week of the Advent season, meditations focus on love—God’s love for us through the gift of Christ and our love for one another. We can love others because of God’s unending love for us.
While studying Hosea, I have been drawn to the dramatic love stories found in this Old Testament prophetic book. I’ve been reminded of the idea that “without action, love is just a word.” I’ve also been humbled by the “love in action” demonstrated as the prophet Hosea was obedient to the God he loved when he was told to marry a woman who would be blatantly unfaithful to him. Then, wow… not only did he marry Gomer, but Hosea repeatedly shows his unconditional love for her by continuing to take her back, forgiving her and truly loving her despite her persistent unfaithfulness. Comparing this relationship to God’s loving relationship with the unfaithful Israelites who doubted Him and his goodness as they began to worship Baal and turn their attention to other ungodly actions, highlights the fact that we can experience Christmas hope, peace and joy because we love a God who continues to love us, forgive us, and be faithful to us even when we might be tempted to (especially during the Christmas season) turn our main focus to things that are not really about the devotion and worship of the Christ who is our Savior, our Redeemer, the One who is reason for this Advent season.
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for demonstrating your promised love to us by sending your Son, Jesus, to be born in a manger, to suffer and die for our sins, so that we may have life eternal. During the Christmas season and the days that follow, help us to be the light. Help us to love others more fully by showing up in their broken lives and loving them sacrificially and unconditionally. Amen.
Jonna Lang Carter