Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In our Old Testament reading this week, from Amos 6:1-7, God warns his people against finding their confidence in the wrong place. These are people who are probably worthy of respect. They are leaders, in Judah (Zion) as well as in Samaria - the historic northern kingdom. The people have a good heritage. They have reason to be proud of their people and their history.
What is the message of God here? It is not that we should despise our heritage. It is that we should not depend on that for meaning, safety, ,and future hope. When God calls his people to consider the nations around them, what they are to see is a group of nations which also have a significant heritage. Yet the people of God are not to emulate those other nations. They are not to try to bring back their own past, either. They are to seek their security and future in God’s present mercies.
How is God working in this day? In Jesus, is he still engaged in bringing forgiveness? Does he give and sustain life? Does he bring a message of good news which is for every nation? Does he show his mercy and grace on people through the faithful care his people give to others? If we are called by the name “Christian” the message God gave through Amos is for us. Look to God, not to our own history or our past. Know that Jesus will work in and through his people for their good and the good of the rest of the world.
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