January 06, 2019

Thermal Underwear and Kisses

Hosea 2:14-20

“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.”

—  Hosea 2:19

A couple of years ago on a cold, wintry day, the radio station in our town invited couples of all ages to gather in a local park to renew their wedding vows. They asked if I would be willing to lead the renewal ceremony, and then together everyone could celebrate a reception indoors, where it was warm.

Everyone was excited and decked out in their finest. Couples who had been married a year were there, and so were couples who had been married for decades. They wore white dresses and suits, and because the temperature was way below freezing, many of them wore thermal underwear too. The couples re­peated vows and smiled and reminded each other of the love at the center of their relationship. And they kissed.

This event celebrated the lasting love of all those couples, and it reminded me of the Lord’s deep, abiding love for his people. We find pictures of that portrayed in many passages of the Bible, like the one in Hosea that we have read today.

There is still a groom deeply in love, and a bride who is preparing for him. The groom has graciously shared his vows with her, and his words are repeated often as the bride reminds herself of the groom’s amazing promises and love. That Groom is Jesus Christ, and his Bride is his church here in the world. As the people of his beloved church, will we be ready when Jesus comes to live with us and give us full life forever?

Thank you, Lord, for loving and caring for us. Help us to be faithful and to grow more deeply in love with you every day. Amen.

About the author — Beth Fellinger

Beth Fellinger is the pastor of Destination Church in St. Thomas, Ontario. She and her husband have been involved in ministry in large urban centers and small rural communities. Beth has served in three church plants and a church rebirth as well as in established churches. She loves her children, their spouses, and grandchildren. She is a cancer survivor twice over and celebrates life every day. She believes strongly in the local church and what a church committed to Christ, missions, and its community can accomplish. She has an enthusiastic vision of how the church can reach out and share the good news of Jesus with others.


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