A sermon on Amos 8
When I first read the readings for this week I automatically shied away from Amos with his harsh words of
What the heck does the image of this basket of summer fruit signify? It was a complete mystery.
Then by chance I decided to return and read Amos, I read the whole book of the prophet and then a commentary about Amos and suddenly a new light dawned.
Surely the message of the crucified risen son of God present now in our midst, which can stand against the very gates of hell, can prevail against the onslaught of the bright fluorescent and neon lights of our progressive enlightened era.
The sun goes down at noon... this event has occurred. I read from Luke 23:
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.
But this as we know is not the last word on the matter of descending darkness. For the Jesus who died on the cross, the wisdom teacher before whom Mary sat listening, the man who walked the roads of Galilee is at one and the same time God who walks amongst us, the light sent into the world. As Paul wrote to the Colossians:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross.
In the face of darkness new life springs forth, hope transcending our attempts in the West to domesticate God or even worse to pronounce his eulogy and lay him to rest as if God never was.
Jesus has come into the world and like Mary we can sit at his feet and learn about who God is from God himself, in God’s own words. The riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ is in you, the hope of glory sustains us because we know that God loves us in this transitory existence as we await the fullness of Jesus return to make all things new.
As Paul wrote to the Romans for now we see through a glass darkly but then we shall see face to face yet what wondrous images of hope do we glimpse though that glass and witness to by God’s actions in and through our lives – justice flowing like a river, the blind seeing, prisoners set free, the poor blessed, people reconciled with God and with one another... peace!
So like Mary let us sit in silence now before our Master teacher and listen for his word to each of us on this day.