Tuesday, October 2, 2012

You are my people

HOSEA 2:16-23

16On that day, says the LORD, you will call me, "My husband," and no longer will you call me, "My Baal." 17For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more. 18I will make for you a covenant on that day with the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the creeping things of the ground; and I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land; and I will make you lie down in safety. 19And I will take you for my wife forever; I will take you for my wife in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. 20I will take you for my wife in faithfulness; and you shall know the LORD. 21On that day I will answer, says the LORD, I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth; 22and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel; 23and I will sow him for myself in the land. And I will have pity on Lo-ruhamah, and I will say to Lo-ammi, "You are my people"; and he shall say, "You are my God."

As I am engaged, I loved reading the imagery of God taking God's people as a wife. I am learning during this engagement period what all married people know and what has been said many times over: that choice is a constant in covenant. You make the ultimate choice up front and then you choose each and every day to follow it through. What makes it great is the choosing. The constant saying yes when no is always an option. God says the perpetual yes to us all, with each transgression and every bad hair day. All the times we are short and careless with our tongues, all the times we are ugly and distrustful. And we can choose to say the yes back.

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