Brief thoughts on Hosea 2:23-Names

Brief thoughts on Hosea 2:23-Names

ירחמו Pitied

האנשים שלי My people
In my devotions this morning, one of the texts I read was Hosea 
2:14-23. The last verse, 23, in particular lept out at me. It 
reminded me of the importance of names. Indeed, the prophet 
Hosea, who was active in the eight century BCE, employs the 
names of people to symbolize the relationship between God and 
Israel. The name Hosea in Hebrew means salvation. This prophet 
then was a proclaimer of God’s message of salvation for God’s 
people.
   Like most of the Israelite prophets, God called them to 
proclaim messages of warning and judgement as well as promise 
and hope. The prophets most likely did not win any popularity 
contests! 
   During the time that Hosea was active as a prophet, the 
Israelites were highly attracted to the Canaanite gods and the 
worship rituals associated with them—which were, of course in 
violation of the First Commandment, and other Commandments 
as well. 
   Another temptation amongst the leaders of the Israelites was 
to form alliances with the Assyrians and Egyptians, for military 
protection and security. However, God was not pleased with such 
political and military alliances. Rather, God sees such alliances as 
a lack of faith/trust in him. 
   Hosea in chapter two, verse twenty-three speaks a prophetic 
word of promise and hope for the Israelites in the future. The 
name of Hosea’s child Lo-ruhamah, which means “not pitied,” will 
be changed to “I will have pity.” In other words, Israel’s suffering 
and judgement due to their unfaithfulness to God and God’s 
covenant will be reversed. God’s grace and mercy shall prevail in 
a renewed covenant relationship with God and God’s people. The 
name change of this child is a living symbol then of God’s grace, 
mercy and lovingkindness. 
   The same is true in the case of the child named Lo-ammi, 
which means “Not my people.” Lo-ammi shall be given the name 
“You are my people” as a living symbol of God’s renewed 
covenant relationship with the Israelites. 
   Names are extremely important. What is your name? What 
does it mean for you as you live your life? What might your name 
mean in relationship with God and with other people? Does your 
name reveal the grace, mercy and lovingkindness that God 
desires for everyone? Hopefully it will be a sign, a symbol of 
God’s presence and blessing in your life as well as in the lives 
of others. 

 

Advertisements

Prayer & Benediction Baptism of Our Lord Yr C

Prayer of the Church, The Baptism of Our Lord, Year C

God our Creator and Redeemer: we praise and thank you that you have called us by our name—knowing and loving us more than we know or love ourselves. Holy One of Israel and Saviour of the human race: no matter how far we may feel from you through suffering or sin, you promise to be with us and gather all of your scattered peoples together from every corner of the world. We rejoice and celebrate you presence among us. God of grace: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.

God of speech: your voice goes forth from heaven and echoes through all of creation. In the act of speaking, your creative Word gave life to the universe—bringing order to chaos and meaning to meaninglessness. In awe and wonder we worship you, King of creation; bless us with your peace. God of grace: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.

Breath of Life: You sent the apostles Peter and John to lay their hands on the people of Samaria and pray that they might receive the Holy Spirit. So, too, help us to be ambassadors of your Holy Spirit’s gifts and fruit—praying for and bringing your healing touch to all who are suffering and in need of healing. God of grace: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.

We thank you heavenly Father for reaffirming through baptism that you had chosen and anointed Jesus, your Son, to accomplish the in-breaking of your reign in the hearts and lives of all believers. God of grace: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.

In a dog-eat-dog, competitive world; we realize how much there is for us to learn from John’s shining example of humility. Assist all leaders of the world to be humble servants of their people that they may govern with justice and peace. God of grace: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.

(Here other prayers and thanksgivings may be added, ending with: God of grace: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.)

Blessed One: through the baptism and prayer of Jesus you revealed yourself to him and delighted in him as your beloved Son. We thank you for revealing yourself to us and claiming us as your children through our baptism. God of grace: C: Have mercy and hear our prayer.

Bestow your baptismal grace upon all Christians, everywhere; that they may spread the Good News of Jesus Christ in thoughts, words, and actions to every nation on earth. We pray in Jesus’ Holy Name. C: Amen.

Benediction

The blessing of God’s peace, the baptismal affirmation that Christ is well pleased with you, and the reconciling power of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always.