Yesterday’s Exodus passage affirmed that God chose Israel. In today’s passage we’re reminded that, sadly, Israel didn’t always choose God. At times the relationship was woefully one-sided. More often than not—especially during times of trouble—distractions, temptations and even despair led the people astray. Perhaps the same has been true for your own relationship with God.
Yet God’s love never falters, reassures the prophet. How can this be? If you’re a parent you might understand. When your child is disappointing, or even willfully disobedient, the underlying commitment remains. Whether a parent or not, a broken heart is the price we sometimes pay for unconditional love.
In our relationship with God, we see God’s unconditional love poured out most clearly through the cross. Yet God does not stop there. Like the Israelites, God feeds us at the communion table. God shares our burdens. God reaches out with arms of love to welcome us home.
When we stray, merciful God, draw us back to you. Thank you for choosing to love us and for never letting us go. Amen.