Name him Lo-ammi, for you are not my people and I am not your God.
And I will say to Lo-ammi, “You are my people,” and he shall say, “You are my God.”
—Hosea 1:9, 2:23 b
Connection is one of the Leading Causes of Life. Connecting with others is an intrinsic part of being human. It is connection that brings life to a family, that creates congregations, that allows for civilization. We tell the story of civilization not in the singular but in the plural as groups of people connect with each other throughout the world. We are in the presence of death when connection is taken away.
It was devastating when God told Hosea to name his child, “Not My People.” Chances are you remember times in your life when you were not chosen for a team, when others made it clear that you were not part of their group. In each case the message was, “You no longer matter.”
Were the story of God to end there, we would find ourselves in a world without hope, without promise, and devoid of blessings that must be received from others.
But, of course, the story does not end there. After God's fit of anger, a new word is given. “I will say to Not My People, 'You are my people,' and he shall say, 'You are my God.'” Connection has been re-established. God speaks to us, and we speak to God. History begins once again. Compassion prompts a divine conversation, and we realize that, although we were once cut off, God has yet another word for us.
One of the most beautiful things about the Bible is that it is a continuing story. Just when we think it may have come to an end, a new word is given. So it is in our lives. If we have lost God, or perhaps even if God has lost us, it is often just a matter of waiting for the next word inviting us to once again connect.
Almighty God, we feel your anger when we go it alone and have disconnected from you and our neighbor. Forgive us, that we might once again be called your people, and know that you are our God. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright ©2008 Larry Pray.