Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Wednesday prior to Proper 23


Amos 5:6–7, 10–15— The prophet Amos lamented over the Israelites, who had turned their back on the Lord. Here the Lord exhorts the people through His prophet: Seek the Lord and live. He judges them for delighting in material things—houses of hewn stone and pleasant vineyards—but taking advantage of the poor and afflicting the righteous. Again they are exhorted, “Seek good and not evil, that you may live.”

Although Israel is guilty of social injustices, the LORD will be gracious to her if she seeks the LORD and loves good.

Like the man in this week’s Gospel lesson, Amos urges Israel to seek life by seeking the LORD, hating evil, loving good, and establishing justice. Because of their sins, the people are faced with death resulting from the Lord approaching judgment. The sins are social. The wealthy oppress the poor, afflict the righteous, and accept bribes. Amos calls for repentance, a turning from doing evil and turning to the LORD in terms of seeking him. Them it may be that the LORD will be gracious to forgive and grant them life.

If the people turn from their evil ways and seek Go and good, “it may be that the Lord…will be gracious…” IT sounds as though Amos is holding out a provisional hope of forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Surely God is ready at all times to forgive. He does not hold back his grace to see if his people will repent. On the human side there is a condition. God stand ready to forgive, but he cannot forgive until his people want and accept his mercy by repentance and faith. [1]

A prayer for grace to love and serve God: O God, through the grace of Your Holy Spirit You pour the gifts of love into the hearts of Your faithful people. Grant Your servants health both of mind and body that they may love You with their whole heart and with their whole strength perform those things that are pleasing to You; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.[2] -06 October 2021

[1] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

[2] A prayer for grace to love and serve God, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St, Louis

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