July 17 – 23
Amos 8: 1-12
Our reading follows immediately that of last week. We have more of the doom that Amos prophecies if the people do not turn to moral behavior. He aims specifically at merchants who can’t wait until the holy days to pass so that they can resume their cheating of the poor. Amos’s prophecies of doom rise to a climax when he sees God cutting himself off from the wicked. To be unable to find God is, in some minds, the very definition of Hell.
ALTERNATIVE FIRST READING
Genesis 18: 1-10a
Abraham, instructed by God, has established a new people. God has made a covenant with him, and he has caused all the men under him, warriors, farmers, servants and slaves, to be circumcised. Abraham is an old man, nearing his hundredth year, and his wife, Sarah, has been barren all of the ninety years. To whom shall he pass the leadership? He thinks it should be Ishmael, his son by his wife’s serving maid, Hagar, but God has other plans. The new nation will not be led by the son of a servant, but by a legitimate heir to be born to his ancient wife.
Colossians 1: 15-28
We saw last week how pleased Paul was with the new church at Colossae. In today’s reading, he reminds the Colossians how Jesus’s suffering and death made possible their salvation. It will not be attained, however, if they lose faith. Paul has devoted his life to bringing that faith and that hope of Glory to gentiles.
©Arthur H. Cash