First, let me say how happy I am to begin my sixth year as pastor of Memorial AME Zion Church. Thank you to the Pastor's Aid for the very nice welcome reception after worship on Sunday, and to all the members for the kind and heartfelt expressions of welcome as we begin the best year ever at the best church in Rochester!
Now...let's talk about Sunday's sermon - and the "next steps" for us as we journey on in faith.
The text was from Hosea 1; the subject was "I Can't Stop Loving You" (thanks, Ray Charles). What did the Spirit say to you as a result of the sermon?
1. Do you find yourself outraged by injustice in the world? If so, what do you do about it? Or who do you expect to do something about it if you do not?
2. Is Hosea's description in 1:2 that "the whole country has become a whorehouse, unfaithful to God" a fitting description, or is it too much, too strong?
3. Do you agree with the observation from the commentary that "seldom does prosperity lead to behavior that pleases God?"
4. What does Hosea discover in his relationship with his wife when she is unfaithful? What have we discovered in our relationship with God in times of our unfaithfulness?
5. If, as we assert, that God "is not all powerful" (i.e., God cannot make us or force us to love him), what responsibility (or as Stephen Covey puts it, "response-ability") do we have in this relationship?