- Hosea 1:2-10 & Psalm 85
- Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19)
- Luke 11:1-13
First Reading: Hosea 1
This week we dip into the prophetic traditions associated with Hosea, who (like Amos) was active during the final decades of the ancient kingdom of Israel—that is, the northern and more prosperous of the two Hebrew/Jewish mini-states that developed in Palestine during the first millennium BCE. Unlike Amos, who came from Judah to preach against the rulers of Israel, Hosea was a local prophet—as were figures such as Elijah and Elisha.
These two societies shared many common traditions, but also held deeply divergent views on some matters. Despite the best efforts of the biblical story-tellers to convince us otherwise, it is most unlikely that they were descendants of Hebrew tribes who had escaped from Egypt several hundred years earlier, nor were their rival societies simply the shattered fragments of a once powerful Davidic empire stretching from the Suez to Mesopotamia.
Whatever the actual historical realities, the Old Testament is a gift to the world from these two ancient societies that shared a common sense of being in a covenant with a god called Yahweh and, more importantly, shared the growing sense that there could only be one such deity. The roots of western monotheism lie in the tangled story of this religious insight, and Hosea reflects a period when the "Yahweh alone" theology was beginning to assert its profound criticism of idolatry and polytheism.
Hosea's own prophetic odyssey begins with the very personal struggle of being married to someone who was sexually unfaithful, and that became a powerful metaphor for the spiritual adultery of Israel who had betrayed her divine Spouse.
For a useful set of online and traditional resources on the Book of Hosea, see the iTanakh Hosea page.
Second Reading: Colossians
This week continues the series of NT passages from Colossians that began last week.
Colossians is one of the letters whose attribution to Paul is widely questioned by critical scholars. After citing various accounts of the arguments for and against Pauline authorship, Peter Kirby offers this practical advice:
My position is, thus, that the authenticity of Colossians is a matter over which reasonable people may disagree. As to its dating, we may follow this dictum for Colossians: if authentic, place it as late as possible, but if inauthentic, place it as early as possible. It was probably written towards the middle of the period c. 50-80.
For a useful set of online and traditional resources on the letter to the Colossians, see Peter Kirby's Early Christian Writings Colossians page.
Gospel: Jesus' teaching on prayer
Luke has gathered together a number of traditions—mostly from the earliest layer of the Sayings Gospel Q—about Jesus instructing his followers on the subject of prayer.
The most significant of the items is a version of the Lord's Prayer that differs in significant respects from the more familiar version drawn from Matthew. There are extensive notes on the Pater Noster at 120 The Lords Prayer, including links to commentary on individual petitions.
- 120 The Lords Prayer: (1a) 1Q: Luke 11:(1)2-4 =(!) Matt 6:9-13; (1b) Gos. Naz. 5; (1c) Pol. Phil. 7:2a; (2) Did. 8:2b.
- 027 Forgiveness for Forgiveness: (1) 1Q: Luke 11:4a = Matt 6:12; (2) Mark 11:25(26) = Matt 6:14-15; (3) Luke 6:37c; (4a)1 Clem. 13:2b; (4b) Pol. Phil. 2:3b.
- 449 Friend at Midnight: (1) Luke 11:5-8;
- 004 Ask Seek Knock: (1a) Gos. Thom. 2 & P. Oxy. 654:2; (1b) Gos. Thom. 92:1; (1c) Gos. Thom. 94; (2) Gos. Heb. 4ab; (3) 1Q: Luke 11:9-10 = Matt 7:7-8; (4) Mark 11:24 = Matt 21:22; (5a) Dial. Sav. 9-12; (5b) Dial. Sav. 20d; (5c) Dial. Sav. 79-80 ; (6a) John 14:13-14; (6b) John 15:7; (6c) John15:16; (6d) John16:23-24; (6e) John 16:26;
- 149 Good Gifts: (1) 1Q: Luke 11:11-13 = Matt 7:9-11;
Liturgies and Prayers
For liturgies and sermons each week, shaped by a progressive theology, check Rex Hunt's web site
Other recommended sites include:
- All my hope on God is founded - AHB 465ii
- Celtic Alleluia (AOV/TiS)
- Companions on a Journey
- Lead us heavenly Father lead us - AHB 492
- Now thank we all our God - AHB 14
- Praise the God who changes places - TiS 178
- Praise to the living God - AHB 7
- Shine Jesus shine
See David MacGregor's Together to Celebrate site for recommendations from a variety of contemporary genre.