'Come, let us return to the Lord;
for it is he who has torn, and he will heal us;
he has struck down, and he will bind us up.
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord;
his appearing is as sure as the dawn;
he will come to us like the showers,
like the spring rains that water the earth.'
(New Revised Standard Version)
It was only a few drops of rain, gentle, more like a fuzzy mist, so I continued mowing the grass. I would get it done without getting really wet, I thought. However, by the time I went indoors I made the discovery that I was absolutely drenched. It might have seemed a few spots of rain, but it had nevertheless made me very wet.
Today's reading is from Hosea. Around 200 years before his time the twelve tribes had divided into two kingdoms - with Israel in the north and Judah in the south - Hosea's prophecies were largely for Israel. For most of this 40 years there was peace, but slowly social injustices and moral decay began to destroy the society, and the people turned away from God and worshipped idols. Hosea argues that because they do not repent, they will suffer judgement, but if they repent God will forgive them.
This ancient prophecy still applies to us today. As a society and as individuals we turn from God, but when we repent He tenderly welcomes us like soft rain which revives and refreshes us. A gentle love that nevertheless drenches us with his blessings.
we humbly come to You
to ask your forgiveness
for the way we neglect You;
the times we go our own way;
and turn our backs on You.
Forgive us this day
and give us Your blessing,
for now and the future.