God Loves Us Despite Ourselves

At our inception, God loved us like a proud parent.
God called out to us.

The more God called to us, the further we ran.
We sacrificed to other gods. We burnt incense to idols.

Yet it was God who taught us to walk, hugging us in loving arms.
We didn’t know it was God who healed us.

God lifted us to God’s cheek.
God fed us and nurtured us.
___

We chose violence and hatred and the ways of war. We terrorized our neighbors. We threw tantrums before our God.
We were bent on turning away from God.

The God of all peoples and all times grew frustrated then and now at our misbehavior.
We blamed one another. We called out to false gods & heard silence.

“How can I give you up?” agonized God. “My heart winces within me.”
Despite our actions, God’s extravagant love grew warm and tender.

God calls to us.
Praise be to the grace that gives us another chance to be who we are created to be.

Let us worship the God of all generations.
Praise be to the God of all times and all peoples.
Amen.

___

Based upon Hosea 11:1-9 CEB. Some phrases are direct quotes from the Common English Bible, Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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Tim strives to share God’s extravagant love for all–no matter what & without strings. Seeking to follow the lure of the Spirit, Tim writes about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in an era where Christianity has come to be associated with hatred and political wedge issues. “Heinous things have been said & done (& still are) in the name of the One who breathed in the Divine,” notes Tim, “but Jesus shows us that God loves extravagantly.” Following the teachings and life of Jesus is about inclusion not exclusion. It is about compassion, grace, and admitting no one has all the answers. It is about responding lovingly to the best of our human ability. It is about people not institutions. It is about social justice. It is about caring for creation. It is about being who we were each created to be. Tim is a former early childhood educator, a runner, a hiker, a devoted husband, father of two adult children and their spouses, and a grandfather of two perfect babies. The former pastor of the Condon United Church of Christ, Tim recently began serving the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Albany, Oregon. He writes from home, from the coffee shop, and wherever the trail leads him.

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Posted in Call to Worship, Confession of Sin & Assurance, Hosea, Hosea 11, Hosea 11:1-9, Old Testament

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Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

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