On 31 July, Helene Milena preached the following sermon in the Anglican Cathedral on Epiphany Island in Second Life. The readings were Psalm 107:1-9, 43, Hosea 11:1-11, Colossians 3:1-11, Luke 12:13-21.
Hosea, who wrote our Old Testament passage for today, was prophet to the Northern Kingdom – Israel – around 722 – 715 BC. The kingdom was ruled by Jeroboam II. The rich were prosperous but the poor were oppressed by them. Morals were declining in the society.
At times God told his prophets to perform some action in order to vividly illustrate what he was trying to say to his people or to prompt them to ask questions. Usually this was a temporary situation but for Hosea it required much more of him; he illustrated God’s message with a lifelong commitment. God told him to marry an unfaithful wife, which he did. Gomer bore many children to Hosea; however, some were fathered by other men as a result of Gomer’s adultery.
As God had predicted, Gomer tired of Hosea and left him to pursue other lovers. Hosea’s name means ‘salvation’ and true to his name instead of divorcing her, Hosea searched for her, and found her. It seems she had become enslaved and needed to be bought back in order to be free to return to live with Hosea. Continue reading