11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh; so I will put a yoke on her fair neck. I will drive Ephraim, Judah must plow, and Jacob must break up the ground. 12 Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you. (NIV)
PRAYER You’ve made me your heifer pulling the plow, you’ve shaped me and trained me, showing me how to lean to the left when your strong hand presses, to walk straight ahead, cleaning up messes and tearing out weeds, preparing the way for planting the seed in that soil on the day when all is in readiness, soft dirt tilled, and we press in the seeds ‘til the rows are all filled. You bring out the seed: it’s sorted, it’s good; it’s all about health and the way that we should be loving our neighbor, helping the torn, the poor, the lost, the hungry, the worn, carefully living, meticulously, the love of the Father for you and for me and for all the husbandless, all those alone, for all of the fatherless needing a home. You must give the seed; my own is diseased. You must show me how I should plant it, then please – you must send the rain that will make the shoots thrive, the rain of what’s right and of hope that’s alive. The roots will go deep, the stems will grow tall, the leaves will shout green and the blossoms will fall to make way for grain that is bred up above: a life-giving harvest of unfailing love.
When I think of “sowing seed” I think of taking the Good News – the parable of the sower and the different soils. This passage in Hosea is about action that results in hesed, that love that was my focus last week. When we do what is right, when we live out justice and mercy, the community is changed. Relationships become characterized by love as needs are met, wounds healed, honor given to those who are marginalized.
In this moment in our lives, how are we sowing this kind of seed? There is need for racial reconciliation. There are people hurting due to social isolation during the pandemic. We also need to forgive the hurts of harsh words and find out how to repair misunder-standings. What would you add? How are you finding ways to sow love?
May we reap an amazing harvest of unfailing love!