Change. And I love you.
Excerpt from Hosea 1:11-2:15
“I will . . . kill her with thirst.” “I will . . . speak tenderly to her.”
Reflection by Hamilton Coe Throckmorton
“I have high expectations of my friends,” said the young seeker. “I’m pretty demanding.” Four of his high-school friends have died in alcohol-related accidents. He used to be pretty tolerant of his friends’ behavior. Since those deaths, though, he has become far less compromising. What they’ve done is wrong, and he knows it. Like God with the ancient Israelites, he’d like to “kill them with thirst.”
There are times we’d all like to do that. After all, we live with an epidemic of cruel and irresponsible behavior. A devastating oil spill. The illicit affair of a long-time friend. A harsh word cutting us to the quick. We shouldn’t tolerate such behavior. God doesn’t tolerate such behavior. It must change. “Kill them with thirst.” At the same time, says God, nothing we do puts us beyond the pale. Even with all our gruesome behavior, God still adores us? The inebriated driver, the betrayer, the callous friend, all of us. “You have to change,” says God. “You can’t keep despoiling the world.” But at the very same time, God also says, “I speak tenderly to you. I love you.”
Change. And I love you. Both are true.
Support in me, O God, the changes we both know I should make. And remind me that you love me just as I am. Amen.
About the Author
Hamilton Coe Throckmorton is Senior Pastor of Federated Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.
“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”
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