Tomorrow at Grace Conference the speaker Jenny Salt will be preaching from the book of Hosea with the women present. Hosea stands out in the Bible as possibly the most graphic portrayal of God’s amazing love and grace and faithfulness towards sinners like you and me. It’s the kind of story that should be on our TV or cinema screens as a gritty character drama, except no production studio would take the script because the love and mercy shown would be considered too unrealistic.
The connections between Hosea and Ephesians are remarkable, though that’s not surprising given they both speak of the same God. In Hosea we read of God’s prophet Hosea who has the unenviable privilege of roll-playing God himself. Obedient to God’s instruction he marries a prostitute, fully aware of her adulterous lifestyle, and in his faithfulness offers her grace again and again. God shows that as impressive as Hosea is in all of this, his faithfulness and grace pales in comparison to the love that God has shown his people, which includes Hosea himself, of course.
In the same way, in Ephesians we’ve read about the wonder of God’s grace, that reaches out to us while we are dead in our transgressions and makes us alive in Christ (2:5). He treasures us as his very own inheritance (1:18). All of this springs from his character of mercy compelled by his love (2:4). Despite our unfaithful wandering, following the ways of the world (2:2), he is overwhelmingly faithful, drawing us right in as part of the family (2:18-19). As we will see this Sunday, this really is a love beyond our comprehension (3:18-19).
So if there is any sense in which you’ve found it hard to get your head and heart around the Apostle Paul’s extravagant description of God’s love for his people, then make a cuppa, find a comfy spot to sit and read through the gritty drama of Hosea.
And may we all grow in our knowledge of unfathomable love of God for us in Christ (Eph 3:18-19).
Your brother in Christ,
Trinity Church Brighton
0401 387 908