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.
A quick glance, a sound bite, a preconceived notion, an inflammatory hashtag. That’s how we rock these days. Our reading from Amos 6:1-7 could feed right into that. What does it say? Woe to people who are comfortable and honored (v. 1). Are you better than those other nations that seem to be your enemies (v. 2)? Who says you are actually safe (v. 3)? You are lazy and luxurious, lying around, playing, being drunk and spending all your time putting on skin and hair product (vv. 4-6).
At this point some people are all over this. “Yeah, you Christians who are well fed, who receive honor, who are pleased with your heritage and fix yourselves up, you’re the worst! Believe me, in the Lutheran tradition where we have an emphasis on the dignity of the Divine Service, where pastors wear ornate (and costly) vestments, where you are very likely to find a silver or even a gold chalice used in communion . . . yes, people are critical.
What’s the bottom line of the argument? Amos 6:6C, “but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph” (ESV). In no way does Amos, God’s prophet, condemn the things the people of Israel have. The concern is that they have this luxury but that some of the Israelites, the descendants of Joseph, are scattered, disordered, without help. This very serious state of affairs plagues God’s people generation after generation. We are reminded that when one part of the body hurts, they all hurt.
What do we do about it? We welcome our brothers and sisters to share in the abundance the Lord has given us. We help guard the truth even when some of God’s people are too weak to do so. We nurture the body of Christ, showing the riches of God’s compassion in Christ. We pursue good, not evil, for the eternal good of God’s people.
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