Today’s Old Testament reading, from Hosea, stops just short of this passage: ‘And I will betroth you to me for ever; I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love, and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness; and you shall know the Lord’.

We need not be afraid of this nuptial imagery, for it is a worthy vehicle for the intensity, and totality, of God’s love for us. It also speaks of God’s fidelity to His promises, which are everlasting. As St Paul wrote to Timothy, ‘if we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself’.

May we trust His promises and His faithfulness to us; and may He bless us all this day.