I suppose the "theme" of my summer has been love. I'm not talking about mushy-touchy-feely guy/girl relationship love (not that it is a bad thing). I'm talking about honest, I-care-about-you-because-God-does love.
As situations present themselves and it becomes necessary to make a tough call (relationally speaking), I'm challenged with a question- "how can I respond in love?" It can be overwhelming enough to listen and process the situation itself without even thinking about a response, let alone a loving response.
My church (Faith Community Church, Santa Cruz) has been working through the book of Hosea this summer- God coming into the "red-light district" of planet earth to love us. The prophet Hosea truly is remarkable. The book begins in an unexpected way: "2 When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, take to yourself an adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness, because the land is guilty of the vilest adultery in departing from the LORD." 3 So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son."
Who does that?
The overarching message of this book is a metaphor about God's relentless love for a people who have proved themselves unfaithful time and time again. Derek Webb, a phenomenal songwriter, spoke at a conference here at Mount Hermon this last week. Although he pulled the idea from the book of Ezekiel, his song "Wedding Dress" captures the idea of Hosea in a very creative way.
If you could love me as a wife
And for my wedding gift, your life
Should that be all I’d ever need?
Or is there more I’m looking for
And should I read between the lines
And look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich, and wise
Is that really what you want?
‘Cause I am a whore I do confess
But I put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle, I run down the aisle
I’m a prodigal with no way home
But I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle to you
So could you love this bastard child?
Though I don’t trust you to provide
With one hand in a pot of gold
And with the other in your side
‘Cause I am so easily satisfied
By the call of lovers so less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood
Because money cannot buy
A husband’s jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife
An interesting point to ponder...