This is a passage of the time in between. In the 8th century BCE, Assyria destroyed Israel (Northern Kingdom) and the tribes were scattered all over. The theologians that wrote Hosea saw the reason for this as Israel’s “whoredom” because they worshipped other gods and sought political allies instead of trusting God to protect them. Yet Judah (Southern Kingdom) still stood and Jerusalem had not been destroyed by the Babylonians yet. That would happen in the 6th century.
Reflect on ways you are not “true” to God and create paper doll children to symbolize this – give them names that reflect your failing. Create a landscape dominated by a wall and label bricks according to the fruits you display, your prayer or devotional life. Then add the “bad children” as a reminder that none of us all are good or all bad.
Let’s play with verse 10: “Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.” You’re going to do a bit of prayer doodling. Divide a piece of paper into four quadrants and write “hesed” (Hebrew for steadfast love), “faithfulness,” “righteousness” and “peace” in separate quadrants. Taking one word at a time, think about what it means, how God displays it to you and how you display it to others. While you are thinking about each word, keep your hand moving in that quadrant add decorations, smaller words and lines that connect or outline the phrases. Take a break, clear your mind and move on to the next word.
Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19)
I want to focus on verses 16-19 because I think we need to read that in a new way. Paul was trying to get the Colossians to convert from Paganism to Christ so he condemned practices of religious syncretism or worshipping more than one way. But a key part of Paganism was paying attention to the rhythms of the earth and Christianity has lost that, which has allowed some to destroy what God created.
Think about where you feel God in nature. When do you feel pulled to be in nature? Now that much of Christianity has separated from the pull of nature, how might observing festivals, new moons and sabbaths enrich your connection to God’s creation?
The Lukan version of Jesus giving the Lord’s Prayer is both familiar and strange because it doesn’t have all of the phrases we are used to praying. This passage divides into two parts with the second half being an explanation that God will answer “our” prayers yet the example is an individual pray-er and their individual needs.
The Lord’s Prayer is communal – notice how it uses “us” and “our.” For the project you can use the Lukan version of the prayer or the one you are most familiar with praying. Write the prayer a few times by hand making the “our” and “us” parts larger and bolder while reflecting on what that means. When you get a design you like, add images such as people eating together near the request for “our daily bread.”