Week 6: Amos

  • Day 1: Amos 1:1-2:3
  • Day 2: Amos 2:4-4:5
  • Day 3: Amos 4:6-5
  • Day 4: Amos 6
  • Day 5: Amos 7
  • Day 6: Amos 8
  • Day 7: Amos 9

Look with mercy, gracious God, upon people everywhere who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as their constant companions. Rouse us from our complacency and help us to eliminate cruelty wherever it is found. Strengthen those who seek equality for all. Grant that everyone may enjoy a fair portion of the abundance of the earth; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(ELW 79)

Our reading for this week is a warning against greed and corruption. Yes, Israel was flourishing, but at what cost? Those with wealth used their money and power to keep the poor poor and to amass their own fortunes. Amos makes it clear that God does not approve of their power dynamic of the day; the court system is corrupt, the wealthy are oppressing the poor, and the houses of worship are corrupt.

Amos warns the people that God will punish them for their greed. Israel would continue to flourish until the latter half of the 8th c. BCE. when the Assyrian empire would conquer Northern Israel.

Did God intervene as Amos had predicted? Or is it the nature of corrupt nations to come to an end? Regardless, of which side of the debate you are on, Amos is a warning that corruption and oppression are not the way of God.

As you read and reflect this week I encourage you to think about corruption in our time and place. Amos isn’t writing to us, but we can find guidance in his words. Amen.

1. Where are justice and righteousness  lacking in our time and place?

2. What can we, as people of God, do in response to corruption? Do we have a responsibility to work for justice and righteousness?

3. Reflect on how you see God at work in the world?

4. Reflect on how the practices of daily reading and prayer have been going for you. What works for you? What doesn’t?

Where cross the crowded ways of life,

where sound the cries of race and clan,

above the noise of selfish strife,

we hear your voice, O Son of Man.