Have you ever treated yourself to something because you felt you deserved it? I’ve indulged in any number of self-given rewards from a run to Dairy Queen to a shut-my-brain-off action movie…with popcorn! Sometimes going above and beyond deserves a little reward.
I’m also capable of going out of my way to be hard on myself when I’ve felt I deserved it. I have judged myself without compassion and held onto things I regret far too long. Perhaps you know something about this in your own life. If so, our reading this week is for you.
On Sunday we hear from the prophet Hosea. Hosea makes it clear that if anyone “deserved” judgment without compassion it was the people of God. They trampled on God’s love for them. God says, “When Israel was a child, I loved him” (11:1). But in so many ways the people have not lived or even acknowledged God’s love. Instead, God says, “You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies” (10:13a).
Yet, even in this outright rejection that would certainly “deserve” condemnation, God does something beautiful. God shows the people kindness and compassion. God gives love to undeserving people.
Hosea 11:1-11 is a fall-to-your-knees beautiful passage and it give hope to the hopeless. It gives me hope!
I am quite capable of trampling on God’s love. What about you? I certainly deserve whatever judgment God would render. But this Sunday, God tells all of us yet again, God chooses love. Whatever I or anyone else might deserve, God loves us. That’s amazing grace. Amen?!
See you Sunday…