One of the most popular and heartfelt “holy songs” of the early 1970’s, written at Weston Priory, Vermont in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, was based on the Book of the prophet Hosea. The haunting melody drew us in with the monks speaking for God, singing, Come back to me with all your heart. Don’t let fear keep us apart…Long have I waited for your coming home to me and living deeply our new life. There is a circle dance that we do now in wisdom schools that similarly calls us as we walk while singing: Return again, return again, return to the land of your soul…
Both of these melodies play in my head this morning as I read the text from Hosea calling Israel to a return to God. (HOS 14:2-10) The violence in our country is a daily thing this week – violence erupting last night among the people in the protests against violence! Like Israel of old, we seem to have lost our way. How are we to turn back now? Re-turn, God says. Keep turning. Turn until you meet the other turning toward you. Return to who you are. Return, says the Lord to Israel. Take with you words and return to the Lord. Say to God, “Forgive all iniquity and receive what is good…” Let the one who is wise understand these things; let the one who is prudent know them.
Whom will you meet and where will you find peace as you turn – and re-turn – this day?