Today in Common Prayer, they are remembering Amos the Prophet from the Hebrew Scriptures. He is an interesting character to contemplate for the day:
Unlike other Old Testament messengers, Amos was not a professional prophet; he had no special training, nor was he related to any other prophets. He was a peasant farmer and sheep tender called by God for a special mission. A native of the southern kingdom of Judah, Amos received a powerful commission from God to preach to the -people of the northern kingdom of Israel. In the first half of the eighth century BC, during a time of great expansion and prosperity in Israel, Amos spoke out against the economic injustices between urban elites and the poor. Rich landowners were acquiring money and land, taking advantage of small farmers and peasants. Although Amos was not wealthy, he was sent to warn the wealthy and invite them back into the good way of God’s justice.
Amos spoke out, saying, “Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring ruin to the poor of the land. I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteous-ness like an ever-flowing stream.”
We give thanks, God, for the prophets who love us enough to tell us your hard truth. Show us where we need your words for our repentance and conversion, and teach us how to always speak your truth in love. Amen.