July 8, 2016 - The Work of Our Hands

We shall say no more, ‘Our god,’
to the work of our hands;
for in you the orphan finds compassion.”
I will heal their brokenness, says the Lord,
I will love them freely;
for my wrath is turned away from them.
I will be like the dew for Israel:
he shall blossom like the lily;
He shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar,
and put forth his shoots.
His splendor shall be like the olive tree
and his fragrance like the Lebanon cedar.
Again they shall dwell in his shade
and raise grain;
They shall blossom like the vine,
and his fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Hosea 14:4-10

“We shall say no more, ‘Our god’ to the work of our hands.”

'The work of our hands' has such great connotations. But here it is derisive.  We have a deeply ingrained impulse to judge everyone, including ourselves, by our purpose, our merits, whether we are charitable, liberal or conservative, generous, humble …the list goes on forever.  Inevitably, some metric or spectrum becomes our god.  It is so deeply ingrained there will be those who read this who cannot fathom another way – who cannot imagine loving something simply because it is, rather than for the purpose is serves.  Its existence rather than its essence.

What a beautiful vision of God’s love in today’s reading.  God’s loving attention is abundant.  There is enough for everyone.   Like the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, we don’t have to fight over a scarcity of God’s love because there is enough to go around and leave a surplus. 

Photo: Duck Harbor Beach, Cape Cod