Shadows and reality.

‘When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, “Go, take for yourself a wife of whoredom and have children of whoredom, for the land commits great whoredom by forsaking the Lord .” So he went and took Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son. ‘ Hosea 1:2-3

I suspect there will have been some interesting conversations around the dinner table today, unless of course the children were taken out of the service!

The still small voice, that speaks in silence, spoke to Hosea as a loud angry God. A bit like Hosea really.

‘But I will have pity on the house of Judah, and I will save them by the Lord their God; I will not save them by bow, or by sword, or by war, or by horses, or by horsemen…

” Yet the number of the people of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which can be neither measured nor numbered; and in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God.” ‘ Hosea 1:7,10,10

That’s more like it.

For me the Bible is all God’s word, speaking; it’s all in red letters. I ask that Jesus is my teacher and Jesus says,

‘“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. ‘ Luke 11:9-10

The still small voice speaks, and I seek to go beyond myself into the mystery that is God to hear. I don’t want to hear Jesus as me, I want to hear him as he is. Jesus stands between the full presence of God and human experience with its suffering and joy, privilege and want. Scholarship helps, community helps, tradition may help: Jesus offers a welcome to seekers.

Our place of gathering, is not only to hear, sing and pray, it is around a table of remembering, a sharing of wine and bread, recalling the brokenness of Jesus and his life poured out for us.

As a child and a parent, the regular gathering to eat was important, and sometimes it was very hard, but in the eating we could start to forgive and be healed. To be sent down from the table was a searing punishment, to end a meal in an argument scarred.

In many traditions, the table is approached after an act of seeking God’s mercy and forgiveness, forgiving others, praying as Jesus taught.

‘And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.” ‘ Luke 11:4

We know we are fallible, Luke calls us evil,

‘If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” ‘ Luke 11:13

But in our reading, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit, and, even though we might be the only one left standing, we can be reassured that what we hear is important and when heard with a contrite heart can be trusted.

‘As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. ‘ Colossians 2:6-8

I have heard it said that if we feel God is saying a particular thing, a good practice is to pass all we hear through the filter of the teachings of Jesus,

‘“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Matthew 5:7-9


‘He said to him, “

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment.

And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’

On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” ‘ Matthew 22:37-40

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1 Response to Shush

  1. Laird says:

    Seeking is a high & life-long calling.

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