Filling the space

In today’s reading from Hosea we hear about all of the ways that the Israelites tried to fill the space of God rather than seeking God for Godself. Kings, princes, idols, altars, sacrifices; all this rather than to be open and humble before God. They must have felt, with St Paul, that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”(Hebrews 10:31).

I feel sympathy for the Israelites in the sense that sometimes it feels good just to be doing something, anything, rather than waiting for God to speak or act. We know at one level that God is always acting, always pouring out His love into our hearts – it is God’s nature! – but sitting still and allowing him to do that can be excruciating!

We would rather be busy, and to help us not feel so bad about being busy, we make our busy-ness “God business”! We fill our spaces with things that look virtuous; altars, sacrifices….but the real virtue is recognising that our emptiness and nakedness is what real prayer requires.

What are you filling your spaces with today?

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