You are hereAmos Readings / Reply to comment
Reply to comment
For Advent, I am reading the year B readings from lectionary in the PCUSA Book of Common Worship. I am really enjoying reading scripture. It is exciting to see connections between the readings in different parts of scripture throughout the week.
Last week and this week I am reading Amos. It is incredible. Here are things I am observing so far:
God is upset with Israel.
I know. Duh. But God says that they will be like a slaughtered sheep where the shepherd finds an ear and a leg from the lion's mouth. God is not kidding.
Amos spends about 1 chapter discussing the world around Israel. Then he spends 8 more on Israel. This makes me think about how much time the church goes around talking about how bad the world is. Maybe we should be spending time concentrating on ourselves. We have quite a few problems as it is.
The Sinful Life
The sinful life of the Israelites doesn't exactly look like what we would expect. About half of the accusations Amos makes are about oppressing the poor. One fifth is about heartless worship. Finally, a few are about immorality and idolatry.
Not only is this sinful life largely about the treatment of the poor. It is about Israel becoming a society that by default oppresses the poor. Wealth and opulence are part of this oppression.
I am on the journey of trying to understand the balance between this condemnation and what I know about God valuing beauty and him wanting us to practice the talents that he has given us.
False Doctrine and False Worship
Amos 5:18-27 is a particularly interesting passage. He condemns their longing for the Day of the Lord. He seeks to correct their notion that their ancestry guarantees safety. He vividly describes the proverbial "Out of the frying pan and into the fire," situation they will be in.
Secondly, Amos condemns their worship. It is OK by the letter, but he rejects it. Why? There is no justice and righteousness to back it up. In addition, they also worship idols. God is a jealous God.
I can't wait for he readings this week.
<!-- technorati tags start -->
<!-- technorati tags end -->