How strange that today’s devotion isn’t from the Gospels, right? When I set out to write this, I wanted to make sure I didn’t slip into the tendency of writers before me of leaning on only the texts I love. (Most year-long devotionals are primarily gospels, maybe a little of the prophets, and a lot of Psalms.) I also started writing with a calling to reconnect us with the complexity of the scripture and its many characters. So every even day is from the new testament, working in rotation from Matthew to Revelation and then starting over again. And every odd day (starting with 1/1 in Genesis) does the same with the Hebrew Bible. So here we are with the wisdom of the prophets on the day of the birth of our saviour. I hope you find a point of connection.
Hosea 14:2b-3 ‘Take away all guilt;
accept that which is good,
and we will offer
the fruit of our lips.
Assyria shall not save us;
we will not ride upon horses;
we will say no more, “Our God”,
to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy.’
On this birthday of my Son, I invite you to turn to an ancient text which he would have studied and learned from. As you celebrate him today, reflect on what it means to give up believing that the work of your hands or a strong army is your salvation and instead to embrace me, the God of the orphan and of the innocent and sinner, the God of a baby born vulnerable among animals brought in from the cold and of his teenage mother and his father who also wasn’t his father, the God of the family who took in a very pregnant woman and of the many people who would not. I ask you today to offer me the fruit of your lips.
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