Lectionary Passages for Sunday July 22nd

Amos 8:1-12

Psalm 52
Colossians 1:15-28
Luke 10:38-42
The Amos and Psalm passages are particularly ominous in tone.  It does not take but a little Old Testament to reset your worldview.  God’s judgment is just, gracious, and timely for sure.  It takes an act of faith to believe that the judgment is used to not simply punish, but to direct, guide, and bring back into relationship.  We see it used time and again in the O.T. to keep the Israelites moving toward God.  But how comfortable are we today in talking about God’s judment?  I know that I get leary about how I am being perceived when bringing up the subject.
The Amos passage says that a time will come when there will be a famine of God’s words.  No matter who seeks, there will be a void in the communication.  We know that this prophesy came true during the inter-testamentary period when there was no word from God prior to the time around  Jesus’ birth.
What would be worse…God’s correction or God’s withdrawal.  At least with correction you get the sense that there is hope and meaning for your life because God cares enough to put you back on the right path.  Some talk about the “dark night of the soul” which is a season of life described as “dry and desert-like”.  Even though God never leaves us, it seems that there times that the “feelings” do.  It is during this time that growth takes place as our faith continues to lead us forward into the abyss of spiritual dryness.
I for one do not look forward to either of the seasons (correction or darkness), but must admit that they will come in every believer’s life.  It is during these times that we must draw upon the community around us to find comfort, strength, and guidance.  It is my prayer that we will all have such a place…it is called the “church”.  Let us all thank God for our place in His church.  If you do not have a place at this point, I pray that God will quickly lead you to one.