Students sitting outside Bockman
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Monday, October 05, 2015

Several years ago, my young adult son had an encounter with the law. He said, "This is not right! I will fight this in the courts!" After three months of fighting as the little guy, he stated to me, "These people are insane! What they say and do makes no sense!" Fortunately, however, once the ACLU got involved as a civil rights matter, my son's good standing in society was quickly re-established.

The fruit of right living with God manifests itself in just ways and justice for all people. God entrusts authority "at the gate" to be a voice of rightness for all in communal life. When any people lose an authoritative voice in communal living, Amos is right in saying, "for it is an evil time." May our congregations be a voice seeking good and an authoritative voice for those who are tired of being silenced.

Lord who speaks and things take shape, empower our voices to be the power of your voice. Amen.

Dan Valasakos
Mount Zion Lutheran Church, Tucson, Ariz.
Master of Divinity , 1996

Amos 5:6-7, 10-15 (NRSV)

6 Seek the Lord and live, or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire, and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.
7 Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground!
10 They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.
11 Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.
12 For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins-- you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate.
13 Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time; for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said.
15 Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.