Two-Way Street

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Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 62; 145, Hosea 2:2-15, Acts 20:17-38, Luke 5:1-11


The opening chapters of Hosea compare the relationship between God and Israel to the relationship between a husband and unfaithful wife. The emotions evoked by this image of an intimate betrayal are a useful tool for Hosea. He hopes to shock Israel into repenting over the trust it has violated, much like unfaithful spouses might confess to relieve their own guilt. God trusted Israel in a partnership, but Israel turned elsewhere to satisfy immediate political and material needs. In chapter two, God’s anger eventually yields to a desire for reconciliation – a desire to trust Israel again. To trust us again.

Modern believers can struggle with the idea of a personal God. Does God really feel things like betrayal and trust? Maybe not in ways we understand, but the story of Christianity demonstrates how God relies on us to usher in God’s Kingdom. If we embrace the idea that we are created in the image of God – including faithfulness – maybe we can be a people who deserve that trust.

Jesus trusted extravagantly. According to Luke, when it was time to recruit disciples, he didn’t pick from the people he knew back in Nazareth, or from the residents of Capernaum who adored him for the signs he displayed. Instead he selected strangers who – upon realizing how special he was – declared themselves unworthy of such trust. Along the way they disappointed him more than once, but Jesus trusted these people to become his church.

In our daily lives, are we mindful that God is trusting us at any given moment? As in a marriage, two-way trust should not be a burden, but an expression of mutual love. God trusts us enough to let us fail, as well as to succeed. God’s trust and love never falter, even when we do. Do we live in a way that honors such trust? God creates each of us worthy to help usher in the Kingdom. Let us be trustworthy as well.

Comfort: God’s trust in us is not a burden, but a joyful privilege.

Challenge: Meditate on ways to reconcile with friends or colleagues who may have reason not to trust you.

Prayer: Glorious Creator, I will do my best to be worthy of your trust.

Discussion: In what common situations do you find it difficult to trust people?

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