Hosea 1:2-10. God instructs Hosea to marry a prostitute, and give his children names that prophesy God’s judgement on Israel, but also God’s ultimate restoration.
Psalm 85. A song in celebration of God’s grace and forgiveness, and God’s blessing in restoring God’s people.
Colossians 2:6-15. Paul encourages believers to sink their roots deep into Christ and find their completeness in Christ. He reminds us that in Christ our sinful nature was ‘circumcised’and we have been raised to new life. So we no longer need to pander to legalism.
Luke 11:1-13. Jesus teaches on prayer, and on the need for persistence in prayer, reminding the disciples that God gives the Holy Spirit to all who ask.
Rev Tania writes.
The Gospel reading sets the tone for this week’s theme.The call to persistence is clear from Jesus, and it is directly linked with our prayer life – our relationship with God.
In a similar way, Hosea’s persistent faithfulness to his unfaithful wife reflects God’s faithfulness to God’s people, God reveals both the value of persistence in our seeking God’s resources, and God’s persistence in seeking our restoration.
The Psalm offers praise and requests in the assurance of God’s faithfulness, and out of a persistent commitment to God’s ways.
Finally, Paul instructs the believers to stay true to the new life that they have received in Christ, and not be drawn away by legalism or by dramatic visions and stories.
If we are to follow Christ and make a difference in the world then it will not be quick, dramatic or constantly changing innovations that will help, but rather – to use the name of one of Eugene Peterson’s books – “a long obedience in the same direction.” This does not mean we cannot be creativity or adopt new ideas and strategies, but that we remain faithful and committed to Christ and the Gospel proclamation of God’s reign, working consistently and persistently to fulfill God’s purposes in our world a little more each day.
There can be no question that the work of faith, of receiving God’s grace, and of following Christ in worship and service, is a life long journey of perseverance and faithfulness. And it is because of God’s faithfulness toward us that we can even contemplate this life. But, if we will contemplate it, and if we can commit to the long haul, we will see change happening in us and we will see justice coming a little more to our world.
May God’s faithfulness inspire your commitment and perseverance this week.
Blessings as we are clothed to grow into Christ! Rev Tania.