Sunday my most favorite day. It has only been 2 Sundays in a row that I have not been there, yet it seems like forever since I have been at service. I anticipated today. Going to worship with those who love the Lord always fills my heart with a desire to bask and remain and praise. Today was youth Sunday. The pastor spoke on the following passage. He began his message with phrases that I couldn't connect to until I heard him say if you forget God, God will forget you. Oh my. I heard someone in the congregation say "ouch." Pastor added that he was not trying to brow beat us; however, he believed that it is his calling to remind us of what we are called to do in worshipping our Lord. When he got down to verse 6 - I heard it even clearer.
Hosea 4 New King James Version (NKJV) God’s Charge Against Israel
1 Hear the word of the LORD, You children of Israel, For the LORD brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “ There is no truth or mercy Or knowledge of God in the land. 2 By swearing and lying, Killing and stealing and committing adultery, They break all restraint, With bloodshed upon bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land will mourn; And everyone who dwells there will waste away With the beasts of the field And the birds of the air; Even the fish of the sea will be taken away. 4“ Now let no man contend, or rebuke another; For your people are like those who contend with the priest.
5 Therefore you shall stumble in the day; The prophet also shall stumble with you in the night; And I will destroy your mother. 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children. 7“ The more they increased, The more they sinned against Me; I will change[a] their glory[b] into shame. 8 They eat up the sin of My people; They set their heart on their iniquity. 9 And it shall be: like people, like priest. So I will punish them for their ways, And reward them for their deeds. 10 For they shall eat, but not have enough; They shall commit harlotry, but not increase; Because they have ceased obeying the LORD.
The things that touch me are the things that touch children. I was driving down MacArthur in Oakland on Friday and as my eyes took in the sights my heart sank. Sadness overcame and I felt as if I might cry. Cry for the children that have to live in this part of town where no one bothers to pick up garbage, houses are empty, broken windows, dilapidated furniture sits in the front of apartment buildings, broken down cars, video camera's perched on top of light posts, police cars driving fast and driving slow, police officers glaring at the community as if they have already committed a crime, men and women whose bodies and teeth display the last few years of a tortured existence, old men sitting on milk crates, young men sagging sitting on top of city garbage cans, gold tooth stores and pawn shops and schools where the barred windows look like a jail cell - could you feel their pain. Living such a life surrounded by everyone in the barrel clawing you back down, it is absolutely amazing that there is any good that is turned out of such squalor. And yet, it is. There is a lot of good that is trapped between railroad tracks and truck stops with the smell of diesel fuel. There are a lot of churches and a great deal of hope. Each generation of mother wants better for their child and yet there are some generations where the status quo has to push against itself to even get a glimpse of what is possible. However once the possibility is seen, potential can be squeezed out. It can be done internally but most probably in this community the external force must come in and show the child that there is something better. We must take care of our children because they are our future. We must remind ourselves that everything we got He gave us and if He gave it He can take it away.