by James Greene
In our readings this morning we see the theme of Godís call to righteous action.† It is a call to us as the people of God to do the right thing.† We are called to be righteous, and to reflect that righteousness in our actions.† We have to have that integrity in our character and our actions.†† †
†††††††††† Have you ever really looked at the outside of this church?† Have you looked at the way it was built, and itís style of construction?† When you go outside this morning, take a look.† The foundation is firm.† I discovered that, when the man from the pest control drilled a hole through the floor in the basement.† He used a 36Ē long bit, to drill through the concrete.† (He never hit dirt.)† The walls are true.† You can look down the side of the walls and they are straight and true. The mortar in between the brick is only about 1/8Ē.†† You can tell the masonry was done well.† You could put a plumb line down the wall and it will still be plumb after almost 96 years.†† It was built right.† It has integrity in its structure.† We as the church have to reflect the same integrity in our structure.
The reading of Amos this morning we see the prophet in conflict with the culture of the northern kingdom.† He must have been one of the prophets that came out of A&M.†
††††† The Lord is standing by a wall, that was built true to plumb with a plumb line and he asks Amos what does he see?† His answer is ďA plumb line.Ē† With an answer like that, he had to be an Aggie.
The imagery here is Amos who is a shepherd, and an aggie, who comes from Judea, below
†††††††††† We have a glimpse of dueling prophets: Layman Vs. Professional
Priest.† Amaziah declares that Amos
is conspiring against Jeroboam, and told not to prophesy.† Amos explains that he is not
a professional, but a shepherd that has been called by the Lord to bring the word to
Our reading from Psalm 82, is about Godís righteous call to those who are placed or chosen into authority.†† We see God presiding in the great assembly.† He is giving judgment among the gods.† It seems kind of strange way to phrase things.†
Mathew Henryís Commentary helps explain this phrasing:
Godís presiding power is asserted as a great truth that is necessary, to be believed by both the Judges and the people being judged.
Judges are entrusted with this power and honor that to be used in might and authority for the public good.† They should be the same in wisdom and in courage in the use of their position.† They are, in the Hebrew dialect, called gods.† The same word Elohim is used for God and for the judges that are under his authority.
But God is calling them to righteous action, because God is a God of action;† he calls them to action.† They are under a higher moral responsibility, because of their position.† He calls them to defend, maintain, rescue, deliver† ---† the weak, the fatherless, the needy and the poor.† God calls them to care for the lost, those who donít understand: those who walk about in darkness.††
†††††††††† God is calling us, as his people, to righteous action, in this community today, just as he calls the magistrates, the rulers, and the judges in ages past.†† We are called to responsibility as the people of God.† The plumb line of Godís righteousness is just as true for us today.† We are called to action to defend, to maintain, to rescue, and deliver : the weak, the fatherless, the widow, the needy and the poor.† We are not to just stand by as spectators, and say ďOh thatís too bad.Ē† We are called to do something about it:
†††††††††† To help feed the hungry, to give to the homeless person on the corner, to visit the sick, to mentor the fatherless, to help each other in community.† It is all part of bringing in Godís Kingdom, and being Godís people in our secular culture.
†††††††††† The reading from Colossians, is all about growing in the knowledge of God.† It is about the spreading of faithfulness and bearing fruit for the Kingdom.† We see this in Paulís praying for the church in Colosse to fill them with that knowledge of Godís Will.† When we pray we prepare the ground for the planting of Godís word, and the calling of Godís people to him.
†††††††††† This is one of the things we need to do in this congregation today.† We need to pray.† We need to prepare the ground for those coming to us, that they will hear Godís word and learn about Godís Will in their lives.† It can happen through us, but we have to take action, and actively pray for this church and its call to this community.† We are to help with The Harvest, because we are bringing in the Kingdom.† It is a labor not only of the Spirit, but also of action as Godís people.† It is bringing in Christís Kingdom and bringing people to God through Jesus.†
†††††††††† Yet we, like Amos and the Psalmist, need to do it with integrity, and with the understanding of the responsibility of our task and our call.† It is to change the culture to one that breathes with a spirit of integrity, that the work we do, in the community, reflects Godís values, principles, and righteousness.† We need to remember that we are building a community that doesnít oppress and enslave the weak, and the helpless.†††
In the Luke we see parable of the Good Samaritan and a reflection of a call to righteous action.† It is an image of goodness.
† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 2
†††††††††† Just as in Amos, God calls his people to righteous action because it is their responsibility as his people to defend the weak.† We see in Psalm 82 the same example with those who are placed in positions of authority and power to be good stewards, and take care of Godís people.† Finally, in Luke Jesus also shows us what the image of goodness looks like, when we answer the call to righteous action.
It is a mind set of relationship to, and with each other, in our actions.† It is
bringing in the Kingdom and it is happening through us with our actions.††† It is the rule of God through Jesus demonstrated for us,-††† that we may demonstrate Godís power and wisdom through our weaknessÖ.
†††††††††† In the Name of Ö††† the Father,†† the Son,†† and the Holy Spirit.† Amen