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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

Our Faith in What God has Done for Us...Let's Us Love and Serve Others!

Hosea 6:1-6 New International Version (NIV)

Israel Unrepentant

6 “Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3 Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” 4 “What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears. 5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth— then my judgments go forth like the sun.[a] 6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.

Wed. Nov. 25

A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit an ancient temple complex near Mexico City called Teotihuacan. The site contains several large pyramid structures where they have found the remains of many sacrifices, including human remains. The basic premise of any religion is the attempt to please the gods. The gods are “up there” somewhere and sacrifices are made or some other religious practice is done to make those gods happy. In basic theological terms this is “keeping the law.” It is what WE (humans) do (Law) to please God or the gods. But God does not care about what WE do FOR HIM. As Martin Luther bluntly put it: “God doesn’t need your good works.” God desires faith in what HE has done for us (Gospel), which sets us free to love and serve others (instead of sacrificing them!).

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