Sunday, March 05, 2006

Lent: Hosea and Moral Expectation (Day 5)

Today in our church service our minister spoke on Hosea. I love Hosea. Several years ago I started to write a musical based on this prophet. After a few days I decided that I should leave the Biblical musicals to Steven Schwartz. During those days however I read and reread the prophet as I prepared a treatment of the book. It was at that time that I first realized the amazing sexual methaphor for love God uses in the old testament. God's love comes from the deepest parts. It is only in the context of these most intense sexual moments that we understand the profound depths of the passion of God.

I want to love people from my deepest parts. I am only just learning to. Learning to love people from our deepest parts immesnsely changes our moral expectations. When I love people, because I am compelled by command the result it a command based love, meaning that those who keep my unstated list of commands will recieve a portion of love in direct porportion to their adherence to my command list. The contrast however is to love the slave picking chocolate in the Congo, to love the the young mother sewing shirts in Honduras, to love the dehydrated villagers in Pakistan, to love the orphan trying to survive a year after the Tsunami killed his parents.

This kind of love transfers the moral expectation from the reciepient to the giver. Deep passionate love comes from the morality of the love giver, not as a result of the moral fortitude of the love reciever. I am compelled to love people by standing up for their rights, and not participating in their exploitation, even when their lives are contrary to the goals, values, and pursuits of my life. This means that the radical Islamic fundamentalist in Pakistan is, to use the words of Jesus, "my neighbor!"

The Love I see God desires is demonstrated in the story of the, "Good Samaritan." Choosing to not wear clothing made by exploitive companies, to not eat chocolate by companies that ignore the slave trade issues, to not drink water that comes from the one clean water source in the area and excludes local residents from gaining access to this clean water, is a demonstration of Hosea love living.

Boycotts and letter writing campaigns aside, the depth of "Passionate Hosea Loves" creeps much closer to home. It is ensuring my budget has a portion to be given for the "poor" in my community. It is participating with my time in organizations that serve the sick and the inprisoned.

Participating in service organizations aside, the depth of "Passionate Hosea Loves" creeps to even more costly levels. It is choosing to treat the "(explicitive deleted)" at work that nobody likes with dignity despite how everyone around is treated by this person. It is seeking to discover the past pain that causes this person to treat others meanly all the time. It is choosing to be avaialable to take the pain of anothers sin so that healing can occur in anothers life.

The moral expectation of Hosea, and of the Good Samaritan rest on my shoulders to love deeply, passionately, and with genuineness.

Then GOD ordered me, "Start all over: Love your wife again,
your wife who's in bed with her latest boyfriend,
your cheating wife.
Love her the way I, GOD, love the Israelite people,
even as they flirt and party with every god that takes their fancy.
I did it. I paid good money to get her back.
It cost me the price of a slave - Hosea 3:1-2

No comments: