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Hosea 12.9-13; Malachi 4.1-6

                                                          The Gosling Oracles

                                                   (Mother Goose’s Minor Prophets)

                                                     Fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Hosea  (There was a crooked man...)

There was a righteous man and he took a crooked wife

            for he meant to show God’s love redeems the sinner’s crooked life.

He told a crooked nation whose idolatry’s abhorred

            that even though you run away, you can’t escape the Lord.

The bonds of love kept beckoning to his unfaithful spouse,

            until one day she came to stay in God’s own righteous house.


Joel  (Little boy blue...)

Little old Joel came forth to warn

            of locusts in the meadow, of crickets in the corn.

And where is the prophet whose job is to tell?

            He’s warning the Judeans that they’re headed straight for hell.

Can you ignore him?  No, not I;

            for if we do, we’re sure to die.


Amos  (For want of a nail...)

For want of compassion, devotion was lost;

For want of devotion, some justice was lost;

For want of some justice, a purpose was lost;

For want of a purpose a nation was lost;

For want of a nation, a world was lost;

            and all for the want of compassion.


Obadiah  (Three little kittens...)

Two little nations succumbed to temptations when they saw Jerusalem fall.

  “Oh Babylon dear!  See here!  See here!” was the Edomites’ vengeful call.

  “You’ve conquered the Jews, and that’s wonderful news!” they all began to cry.

But old Obadiah became a pariah when he looked upon them and said,

  “You’d best learn to fear Lord Jehovah here, or you could wind up dead.

   For this God gets mad when you become glad to see even an enemy die.”


Jonah  (Little Miss Muffet...)

A prophet named Jonah was rather a loner -

            when God called he took to the sea;

‘til the crew came along and said, “Something’s wrong

            with this ship - that Jonah - it must be he!”

So Jonah the prophet was quickly thrown off it

            and devoured by the biggest of fishes

‘til along came Jehovah and looked the man over

            and said, “Now will you honor my wishes?”

So this son of Amitai, bereft of an alibi

            dried himself off and consented

God’s judgment to bring to Nineveh’s king,

            and to Jonah’s surprise, he repented!


Micah  (Wee Willie Winkie...)

Micah of Moresheth went through town,

            indicting old Jerusalem up and down.

Climbing on his soapbox and shouting from his perch,

            “Are all you Hebrews still in bed?  You ought to be in church!”


Nahum  (Ladybug, ladybug...)

Nineveh, Nineveh, fly to your homes,

            for God is incensed and Assyria’s gone.

No more to protect you from imminent doom,

            your fortifications will now be your tomb.


Habakkuk  (London Bridge is falling down...)

Righteous folks are falling down, falling down, falling down,

            righteous folks are falling down - why oh, why Lord?

The wicked always get their way, get their way, get their way,

            the wicked always get their way - why, oh, why Lord?

Things are seldom black and white, wrong and right, day and night,

            things are seldom black and white - why, oh, why Lord?

Live by faith and know yourself, know yourself, know yourself,

            live by faith and know yourself, my Habakkuk!


Zephaniah  (Simple Simon...)

Zephaniah went right by ya’ going to the Christmas fair.

            Said Zephaniah, “How’s it by ya’?  What’s our profit there?”

“Without a doubt, we’re out of chowder – and we’re low on evergreens!

  And all our knick-knacks, our white elephant gimcracks, are selling like baked beans!”

Buy low!  Sell high!  Don’t look forlorn!  We’ll make a pretty penny!

            But worshippers on Sunday morn?  Indeed, we have not many / Indeed, we’ve rather many!

Haggai and Zechariah  (Mistress Mary, quite contrary...)

Haggai, Haggai, not to nag, I wonder how the temple’s built?

            With cedar strong, and beams this long, and a cupola edged in gilt.

Then build it higha’ Zechariah, where Solomon’s temple first stood;

            Look to the past, and make it to last, ‘til the Messiah is with us for good!


Malachi  (I had a little hobby horse...)

I had a holy messenger, his name was Malachi.

            His words were made of visions, for he had a canny eye.

He told it to the people for whom our maker yearns,

            and we’ll not see his kind again until the Lord returns!

For though his wisdom’s so acute he trembled for what foreboded

            not even Malachi was so astute to guess what’s next with Covid!


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