Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sun. July 25, 2010 (Erna Friesen)

Erna spoke on a difficult series of texts from the lectionary, including the outrageous charge by the Lord to Hosea to take a prostitute as a wife. Erna used that story as a launching point for a discussion on both the faithfulness of Israel and of our society today. Hosea, despite being from the southern kingdom of Judah, was called to preach to the northern kingdom and against the followers of Baal. He excorated Israel for its unfaithfulness to God, so much so taht his own children were named after God’s punishments to the people (Lo-Anni - “not my people” etc.), and made no other comment about justice issues that were the staple of earlier books. He further preached on marriage and unfaithfulness in a world where temple prostitution was culturally accepted. Erna noted unfaithfulness to God has similar consequence to unfaithfulness in a marriage - betrayal and anger, as opposed to romance and lifelong commitment in sickness and health. Hosea’s and Gomer’s children were victims in the choices made, where a wife with no conception of faithfulness was asked for same. Though it is understandable in a “logical” sense - worship of a pantheistic Baal invoked fertility itself - of land, of females - as a supreme deity. Yet we, (and perhaps they too) knew no assurances could be given, and Hosea merely hammered the lesson home. In spiritualizing such sensations as hunger and sex and aggression, Satan-worship enters easily as a hedonistic and orgiastic tendency. Violent religious intoxication became the norm, and child sacrifice was only one depraved way in which this worship led to abuses of the human condition. Yet God offers redemption, even has he holds the plumb-line up against us. God will have compassion, if only Israel will turn from Baal, as Hosea offers to Gomer a change from her life of prostitution. Today, too, we are offered an escape from scientism and humanism, which has caused great suffering. The consequences of this sin cannot be evaded - the inner soul knows the brokenness that results. And so does God. [AP] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, July 25th, 2010 using your browser's preferred media player.



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