Advent 3, his coming, his weeping …’

6 Dec
a tear


‘For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.’
Hoses 6:6;

‘But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”’ Matthew 9:13

The New Testament, the words of Jesus’ teaching and living, call out the essences of the Old Testament. Jesus brings these older scriptures to new life, renewed meanings. A new coming: an Advent. A Messiah’s journey.


Jesus quotes a one specific Old Testament book twice at the beginnings of his Messianic journey, the book of Hosea.
There are two central strands in the project’s Hosea’s text. The first is his call by the Lord to marry Gomer, a prostitute, this is the story strand of Hosea’s life: his call to marry; their children; Gomer’s painful unfaithfulness and her return to prostitution and then in closing Hosea’s forgiveness and his loving redemption of the unfaithful, or: mercy.
And the second strand is a clear raison d’être of why Hosea is so called to supernatural mercy. Our lord loves us because we are his. And Hosea 11 describes this merciful overflowing love,

from Hosea 11

“When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more they were called,
the more they went away from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.


3 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
taking them by the arms;
but they did not realize
it was I who healed them.
4 I led them with cords of human kindness,
with ties of love.
To them I was like one who lifts
a little child to the cheek,
and I bent down to feed them.

Just as a child does not fully comprehend how their parents walk with and for them; how a father leads and a mother lifts them to their cheek and how parents bend down to feed them, so the Jewish people did not know who is loving them. They don’t see or hear the Jesus before them. Why? Hosea continues his sharing the Lord’s words to his people, beginning with a question,

“Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent?

6 A sword will flash in their cities;
it will devour their false prophets
and put an end to their plans.
7 My people are determined to turn from me.
Even though they call me God Most High,
I will by no means exalt them.

Here, the Lord describes his leaving the unfaithful to Egypt and Assyria; to the idols of Baals and images they worship. Images that form idols in their own hearts. Their own idols block their hearts and eyes; ears and spirits from seeing and hearing. And if left in their Gomer like state, they will always be unloved; or never experiencing the Lord’s mercy.

But our Lord then asks another question, first, for himself and then also of Ephraim, for their healing and restoration, 

8 “How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I treat you like Admah?
How can I make you like Zeboyim?(
My heart is changed within me;
all my compassion is aroused

Not some, or most but all of the Lord’s compassions are aroused. His heart is changed within him. In the Hebrew this type of change strongly implies ‘crying.’ So, the Lord of the universe loves us so so much, He cries, deeply, over us.

This is the first time in the scriptures we see The Lord crying. And who is it over?

It is over Gomers; and Ephraim; over you and me.

This is mercy: tears for the unfaithful and for the hurting. It is all His compassion, all. We are precious because He weeps over us, all.

My prayer: Lord please welcome me into your hands, your loving healing protective hands, no matter how I may fail you. Love me as I fail. Let your tears wash me. 


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