Love Again and Again
It has been said that the Bible is the story not of our search for God but of God’s search for us. That concept is set forth in the messages of Hosea.
In chapter 2, Hosea turns from the husband-wife relationship to the parent-child image to illustrate God’s love for Israel. It is the story of a parent whose love will not let go of the most errant child. The more God loved Israel, the more they rejected God. Still, divine love remained constant. Their disobedience threatened to bring destruction to the cities and their return to slavery. Because of love, God held back punishment. In verses 10-11, the prophet assured them love would win and draw them to God.
The parable of the prodigal son teaches the same lesson. Some have suggested it could more aptly be titled the parable of the loving father.
Hosea 14:4 says love heals. Since that is true in divine-human relationships, is it not true in human relationships?
Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God and to love one another. As Christians, we are accountable for our stewardship of love.
—Rev. Jean Richardson
- What do the following phrases mean to you?
- Love the sinner and hate the sin
- Forgive and forget
- Tough love
- God knows and love me anyway
- Love is something you do
- Can you remember persons who have loved you unconditionally? That you have loved unconditionally?
- Who are some Bible characters that we might consider “unlovable” that God and God through Jesus reached out to and loved and used for the fulfillment of God’s kingdom?
How Do I Act?
- Go to someone whose conduct may have been repulsive to you and perform some act of love for them. Or think of someone you dislike and give them a deed of kindness. And do it again and again. Evaluate the results.
- Discuss with your church the “wrath of God in light of the love of God.” Research some books that deal with this wrath/love opposition. Share these insights with the church.
- Thank someone who loved you when you did not deserve it.
- Read a book on love. It might be one on how to love yourself more or about love relationships, etc. There is a series of Elf-Help Books that range in topics from Grief Therapy to Be-good-to-yourself Therapy. If there are others in your church also reading, trade books so you can read more for less.