When the Lord first spoke to Hosea, the Lord said to Hosea, ‘Go, get yourself a wife of whoredom and children of whoredom; for the land will stray from following the Lord.’
I did not remember the harshness of prophetic words. I have been reading the bible since I learned how to read at age 5. Since I can remember I have been fascinated by the stories contained in the bible and the narrative still fascinates me, challenges me, and reminds me of its importance each time that I read it.
Israel’s unfaithfulness required harsh words. Time and time again they chose other gods, time and time again they were unfaithful to the covenant.
Would these words get their attention? Would a prophet whose life made incarnate their situation become what they need to turn their way?
I know that often I as a leader take on, in my soul, my mind, my body, the struggles of the people I serve. This might not be the most emotionally healthy thing but when one loves, cares, and leads it is easy to take on the burden, to make incarnate the struggles.
My prayer is that as a leader I can be a prophetic voice that helps God’s people hear God’s call to renewed covenant. Sometimes this call is difficult to hear, as our prayer of confession says “we have broken [God’s] law, we have rebelled against [God’s] love, we have not loved our neighbors and we have not heard the cry of the needy.” This reality is difficult to hear, and difficult to change, but God’s grace is sufficient to help us hear God’s call, receive God’s forgiveness, and begin again.
May those of us who are leader’s take on the challenge of being grace incarnate to God’s people today.