Timothy and Titus, Companions of Paul
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Today we are commemorating Timothy and Titus who were companions of Paul. Today’s text has some parallels with the words of Samuel to Saul in 1 Samuel 15: 22, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.” Hosea was one of many prophets that warned the nation of Israel against unfaithfulness to the God of their fathers. His prophecy is demonstrated in the story of his marriage to Gomer and what he is simply putting across is that, offerings and oblations that are simply following an established routine are unacceptable to the Lord Who desires that His people serve Him out of devotion, obedience, and love. People of Israel were now performing rituals for the sake of external manifestation but they were not supported by acts of love, charity and obedience to God. Let it be our word for reflection today that whatever we do in terms of our worship is anchored on the love of God and our neighbour.
Almighty God, who called Timothy and Titus to be evangelists and teachers, and made them strong to endure hardship: Strengthen us to stand fast in adversity, and to live godly and righteous lives in this present time, that with sure confidence we may look for our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.