Archive for September 11th, 2020

Friday, September 11, 2020

Amos[1]Amos 5

An Exhortation to Return to God

Chapter 5 of Amos, a prophecy that speaks in particular to the wealthy who oppress the poor to store up more riches than they will ever need, reminds all of us that we must tend to our relationships with God, one another and self for if we do not . . . we become too enmeshed in regret, stubbornness, and an intractable pigheadedness about asking and giving pardon. God will deal out vengeance to the nations and punishment on all peoples in a manner far better than any we might devise. Hear ye this word, Amos intones, seek ye me and ye shall live, sayeth the Lord. 

We are reminded of the effectiveness of Amos’ word to us even today when we read Hebrews 4:12-13. This word of God which Amos conveys is living and effective, sharper than any spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.  No creature is concealed from God, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of God to whom we must render an account. Amos calls us to spend time reflecting on what this rendering might look like, what these secrets may be, and how this Word might separate or unite us.

The word cleave is an interesting one in the English language – it holds opposite definitions of bringing together and breaking apart. From a web source we have the double definition.

  • separate or cut with a tool, such as a sharp instrument; “cleave the bone”.
  • make by cutting into; “The water is going to cleave a channel into the rock”.
  • cling: come or be in close contact with; stick or hold together and resist separation; “The dress clings to her body”; “The label stuck to the box”; “The sushi rice grains cohere”.

This then, is the word of God that can both frighten and comfort us.  Woe to them that desire the day of the Lord!  To what end is it for you? This is Amos’ warning and it can either send us away from God or it can draw us closer still. It is our attitude about the worth of our relationships that makes all of the difference.  It is our decision about how we see this idea of cleaving with and to or cleaving asunder and into parts that makes the difference in our lives.  And it is this exhortation that we hear today.

Adapted from a reflection written on August 17, 2010.

Image from: http://trivialdevotion.blogspot.com/2011/09/amos-midlife-calling.html

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