A Week of Hard Sayings
“It’s complicated.” Our Bible readings this week are full of hard sayings. Parts are hard to interpret and the parts we seem to understand are hard for us to hear.
The prophet Amos speaks God’s anger over people who pretend to be virtuous but are really just waiting for the next opportunity to exploit the poor. Public posturing about pretend virtue makes it worse. God sees the heart and remembers our actions. And God’s day is coming, a day with consequences that go beyond the perpetrators to affect the whole land. Everything will be overturned. Nothing will be stable. And when the “virtuous” look for guidance, they will not find it. When you don’t want to follow God’s word of truth, eventually you won’t be able to recognize truth, even when you need it most.
Sometimes the Bible’s hard sayings comfort us in our suffering. God sees the causes of inflation. God sees those who trick us into buying worthless goods, who defraud the poor and keep them from God’s sabbath rest. God does not forget. In the meantime, we pray with Paul for “kings and all who are in high positions” to let us lead a peaceful and quiet and dignified life.
The day of the Lord comes “at the proper time.” Will we welcome it? It depends on who we serve—God or money, as Jesus says. And we are not left without hope. God’s mercy endures, says the psalmist. Recognizing our limits, calling on God’s loving-kindness and truth, is the way of life. God has respect for the humble. “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, yet shall you refresh me.”
Come worship with us tomorrow in Morning Prayer, followed by Sunday school. Dr. Thomas will be preaching.