Amos 6:1a,4-7 (NRSV)
Chapter 6Alas for those who are at ease in Zion, and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria, the notables of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel resorts! Verse 4Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory, and lounge on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock, and calves from the stall; Verse 5who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David improvise on instruments of music; Verse 6who drink wine from bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph! Verse 7Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile, and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.
Our reflections this week focus on God’s justice, holiness, and purity as a guide for our sharing that justice, holiness, and mercy with others.
Amos was a lay shepherd and farmer who examined the urban life of Israel and saw it ripe for God’s judgment. Still, he proclaimed that God’s desire was not death, but that Israel would turn from its sin and live.
I remember a saying while in seminary that pastors should “make the uncomfortable comfortable, and the comfortable uncomfortable.” This comment might fit well with Amos’ message that the wholeness and purity of God calls for justice, holiness, and purity in the lives of God’s people.
You and I are to continue that call in our times. As God’s people we ask God to guide us, knowing we might get it wrong. But being immersed in that call will always lead us to action as we work to further God’s call for justice, holiness, and purity where we live and beyond.
Holy God, may we hear and act on Amos’ call to work for holiness, justice, and purity in our times. Help us to see signs of that work, but if not, may we know it is still worth the effort. Amen.