Fellowship – Snacks or a Meal (10 minutes with snacks; longer, obviously, if there is a meal).
Gathering Time (5-10 minutes). In groups of two or three, respond to the following, “What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?”
Group Dialogue (Approximately 30 minutes). Read: Hosea 1:2-10.
- What would be your first reaction if God asked you to marry a spouse you knew would be unfaithful?
- Trust God and obey.
- Pretend you didn’t hear God.
- Assume you didn’t hear God correctly.
- How are the people of Israel like Gomer? [Unfaithful, likely a worshiper of other gods.]
- What do the names of Hosea’s children reveal about the people of Israel?
- Might it be important that the first child is noted as a “son” of Hosea and Gomer, while the next two children Gomer “bore” have no connection to Hosea?
- How would you feel as Hosea as you watched Gomer’s actions? What might this reveal about God?
- (R) Thankfully, God does not call us to such raw acts as Hosea to reveal God’s character and displeasure. What does God call us to that might reveal God’s character?
Prayer (10 minutes). Share prayer requests and respond appropriately.
Sending Forth (2 minutes). End by praying the following or a similar prayer:
God of faithfulness, you are faithful even when we are faithless. We give you thanks that you desire our freedom and forgiveness. In light of the compassion that we have received, empower us to seek to extend compassion to all those around us who are in need. Amen.