God is Waiting

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Scripture1 Text

Luke 15:3-7 

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture2 Text

Luke 15:11-20 

The Parable of the Prodigal and His Brother

11 Then Jesus[a] said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. 14 When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. 16 He would gladly have filled himself with[b] the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.”’ 20 So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 15:11 Gk he
  2. Luke 15:16 Other ancient authorities read filled his stomach with
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture3 Text

Hosea 11:1-11

God’s Compassion Despite Israel’s Ingratitude

11 When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I[a] called them,
    the more they went from me;[b]
they kept sacrificing to the Baals,
    and offering incense to idols.

Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
    I took them up in my[c] arms;
    but they did not know that I healed them.
I led them with cords of human kindness,
    with bands of love.
I was to them like those
    who lift infants to their cheeks.[d]
    I bent down to them and fed them.

They shall return to the land of Egypt,
    and Assyria shall be their king,
    because they have refused to return to me.
The sword rages in their cities,
    it consumes their oracle-priests,
    and devours because of their schemes.
My people are bent on turning away from me.
    To the Most High they call,
    but he does not raise them up at all.[e]

How can I give you up, Ephraim?
    How can I hand you over, O Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
    How can I treat you like Zeboiim?
My heart recoils within me;
    my compassion grows warm and tender.
I will not execute my fierce anger;
    I will not again destroy Ephraim;
for I am God and no mortal,
    the Holy One in your midst,
    and I will not come in wrath.[f]

10 They shall go after the Lord,
    who roars like a lion;
when he roars,
    his children shall come trembling from the west.
11 They shall come trembling like birds from Egypt,
    and like doves from the land of Assyria;
    and I will return them to their homes, says the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Hosea 11:2 Gk: Heb they
  2. Hosea 11:2 Gk: Heb them
  3. Hosea 11:3 Gk Syr Vg: Heb his
  4. Hosea 11:4 Or who ease the yoke on their jaws
  5. Hosea 11:7 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. Hosea 11:9 Meaning of Heb uncertain
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.