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.
Some elements of the culture I live in are scathing in their condemnation of Christianity. They associate Christianity with a greedy, grasping philosophy of plunder and oppression. They may engage in virtue signaling, pointing out the value of kindness, fairness, peace, and helping others. For some reason, which I don’t fully understand, many Christians allow these attacks without ever stating the obvious: God in the Bible has always condemned greed, rasping, plundering, and oppression.
This becomes crystal clear when we look at our Old Testament passage this week, from Amos 8:4-7. In the setting, those who wish to sell goods all the time for extortionate prices are waiting impatiently for the Sabbath to end and the marketplaces to open so they can busy themselves at deceiving the poor and needy. They are condemned by God, who knows and cares for the poor.
The Lord of all, the same one who made the earth a fruitful place, expects His people to care for the poor, particularly for those whose poverty is not of their own doinng. At the same time that He tells people to work and labor, he also tells them to rest, trusting in Him. Those who would rob the poor, rather than resting in God on the Sabbath, occupy themselves iwth plans to profit at the expense of others. This is not how God calls us to live. He condemns the profiteers. Christians, for the most part, have always been aware of this and have cared for the poor. It’s time we make that plain to our critics.
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