Part of blue sky nine's ministry, besides playing contemporary music at campuses, prisons, military bases, and schools around the world, is to share with the audience relevant, sometimes forgotten truths--like Jesus loves you.
This is something we've probably all heard from a young age, but for some reason I really needed to hear it last night. For the past several weeks I've been trying hard to please/impress a lot of people (professors, friends, coworkers, potential employers) that I forgot that impressing people isn't my job. We weren't created to show off or to make ourselves look cool, but to love.
Today I started reading the book of Hosea, and while I've read it before, this time the beginning chapters really clicked, maybe more so because I'm a woman. You see, God tells Hosea to marry a harlot, Gomer, which he does, and they have three children (the paternity of the youngest is questionable), who seem to have disaster written on their faces (or in their names: "Unloved," "Not Mine"). Then Hosea divorces Gomer for her infidelity, but God commands Hosea to take her back, which he also does.
These beginning chapters are an extended metaphor: Gomer is Israel and Hosea is God--not only that; I'm Gomer too. Gomer, Israel, Me: we're all unfaithful in our own ways. We've all been whoring, worshiping other gods, wandering around trying to love and be loved by everything but God. And just like Hosea takes Gomer back, God redeems Israel and takes me back when neither of us deserve it.
The section where Hosea takes Gomer back (Chapter 2) is a beautiful image:
14 Therefore I am now going to allure her;
I will lead her into the desert
and speak tenderly to her.
15 There I will give her back her vineyards,
and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
There she will sing as in the days of her youth,
as in the day she came up out of Egypt.