Whew! First intensive week is over. It was amazing! Today we looked at the entire book of Hosea with Dr. Ellen Davis. We looked at the challenging metaphor that Hosea uses, an unfaithful wife as the image of Israel. The first thing that is important to say about Hosea is that the metaphor is difficult, in some ways very hurtful, and violent. We need to treat this story as the shocking sermon and allegory that it is. One of the reasons that the story persisted in Israel’s memory was that it was both startling but also impactful. So impactful that it is picked up in the New Testament. In addition to the difficulty in the story, it also contains some of the most beautiful intimate poetry of God’s heartacheand love for God’s people….
First, I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to go back to school. Thank you to the church council, members of SOTH and our staff for the encouragement and support. Thank you for your prayers, words of support and your financial support. I could not do this without your help in all of these ways. Thank you!
Second, I am also exceptionally anxious. Like many adults I have a deep-seated fear of looking stupid! In many ways I pray for the open, vulnerable, unassuming freedom of my niece and nephew who have no fear of not knowing. In part, being a learner means that you first must admit your ignorance. You must admit there are things you don’t know. It is a vulnerable position. It is a humbling position; especially for someone like me (and maybe you too) who likes to be in control and create the illusion that I know what I’m doing! I am asking to be kept in your prayers, and I’m asking for your kindness as I strive to be vulnerable in the learning process. I’m sure I will quickly learn how much I don’t know!