Amos 5:18-24 (NRSV)
Verse 18Alas for you who desire the day of the Lord! Why do you want the day of the Lord? It is darkness, not light; Verse 19as if someone fled from a lion, and was met by a bear; or went into the house and rested a hand against the wall, and was bitten by a snake. Verse 20Is not the day of the Lord darkness, not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?
Verse 21I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Verse 22Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Verse 23Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. Verse 24But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.
I was recently canoeing with my family on the Namekagon River in Wisconsin. Just when we would grow tired from our paddling, there would be a current that would carry us further downstream. During these times of encountering the river’s mighty waters, all of us were propelled forward and our efforts felt multiplied by the power of the surges. Many of us, paddling as it were on our journeys in service of God’s justice, can feel tired and weary. We have moments of feeling as if we are paddling all alone. Could we trust the Spirit to stir up the waters in our nation and in our churches? Could we trust God’s rolling waters of justice to sweep up all of the cosmos and bring them closer to Shalom? May the gift of faith, given by the Holy Spirit, inspire us to believe that these waters are not dry. In fact, this ever-flowing stream of God’s compassionate justice is carrying all of us home to flourishing wholeness.
God, let your justice flow into our hearts, our communities, our institutions, our nations, and into our world. In addition to singing songs of praise with our mouths, let us practice justice with our bodies. Amen.