Someone once said, “I miss the 90’s when bread was still good for you, and no one knew what kale was.” Do you ever feel like this? (I’m out of jokes, so send some more)
LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Lord, help us to be faithful in prayer and intercession for those near. And also help us to be faithful in prayer for the world. You loved the world so much that You gave Your only son Not to condemn the world but to save it. (John 3:16 &17) May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen
MEDITATION 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:18-20 NIV) In Pittsburgh, I had the privilege of being Teaching Director for the Pittsburgh East Community Bible Study class. It was no small endeavor, with 110 women from 13 different churches and 90 children participating in a nursery and home school Bible education program. I loved CBS and I took my responsibility to the class very seriously. At this time I also had my four kids enrolled with Sam almost old enough to enter the home school portion of the program. As the start of a new year, it became sadly apparent that we did not have enough parent volunteers to continue the home school program and it broke my heart. After the announcement was made, there was much anger and disbelief even though this decision had been on the table for almost an entire year. A parent, approached me at the conclusion of class, and in front of everyone began to berate me for my failure to keep the class going. She accused me of not trying and when I tried to redirect her to an alcove she just shouted in my face louder. To be honest, I got mad. My kids would have greatly benefited from the home school program. I had begged for additional volunteers and as I was already putting in 20+ hours a week to CBS (with a newborn Zechariah no less) what more could I have done? I shouted back, “Seriously, you need to shut up! This is not the place or the time.” I turned my back and walked away. That night I called to apologize for losing my temper. She bluntly told me that I should be sorry and then lectured me some more. I sat and listened and bit my tongue, but our relationship, which had been good, was now in tatters. Each week when I saw her it made my stomach upset and I avoided her as much as possible. But God had other plans. Week in week out as I taught about the Bible, God made sure that I kept running into Linda (not her real name). At the store, the park, the doctor’s office, places I had never run into her before and it was awkward for both of us. However, I knew God was convicting us both. After about two months of this, I walked up to her at the park, and said, “Hi Linda, how have you been?” She looked up startled, and said, “Oh, Hi Nicole. Hmm, I have been meaning to call you. I owe you an apology.” It was the beginning of reconciliation. Our fragmented relationship was mended. It was humbling and difficult but VERY necessary. Reconciliation, has practical implications for families, churches, and communities because whether we mean to or not, we wound each other daily. We get mad, we yell, we pout, we distance ourselves; we sin. Love, grace, forgiveness, and repentance are all part of reconciliation and it’s our mission and calling, let’s embrace who we were meant to be!
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/amos/ for an overview of the book of Jonah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/romans/ for an overview of the book of Romans. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Amos 1:1-2:16 Look at the overview from the bible project link above to get a sense of what Amos is all about, it will be helpful, because Amos is going to be a crazy book for us to read. So find a chair with a seat belt, and get ready. Amos will begin by declaring God’s judgment on the enemies of Israel. This will include Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and finally Judah, which is interesting because Judah and Israel were one nation before their division. The Bible Project will point out, that Israel sits at the very center, surrounded by these nations. And while Amos will declare God’s judgment upon all these nations for their sins or “injustices,” the sin Israel has committed, as God’s chosen nation, will be far more grievous and extensive. Re-read 2:6-16. What are the sins Israel is being called out for? Romans 2:17-3:8 Paul will continue to reveal the divide between Jews and Gentiles, by picking on the Jews. The Jews had the Law, and consequently this advantage. How will Paul describe the advantage of having the Law? (18, 20) And yet, Paul will say, while you should know better, don’t you… steal? commit adultery? rob temples? The issue that Jews had with Gentiles was that they did not follow the Law. So Paul will point to their own hypocrisy on this issue. Regarding the Law, there were three main issues that rose to the surface. Holy Days or holidays; food or what was "clean" vs "unclean" and finally circumcision. What is the point Paul is making regarding the Law and circumcision? As we move into chapter 3, Paul will come back to being a Jew and point to the advantage. What is the advantage we see in chapter 3? Proverbs 17:5-14 How does proverbs 17:5 relate to what we have read in Amos this morning concerning Israel’s sin? Solomon is railing against the “fool” in these verses. I have to say that verse 12 is probably my favorite image. What’s yours?