Sermon on Amos 5:14-15, 24 and Matthew 6:24-33 for Pentecost +23A, November 12, 2017
Amos 5:14-15, 24
Seek good and not evil,
that you may live;
and so the Lord, the God of hosts, will be with you,
just as you have said.
Hate evil and love good,
and establish justice in the gate;
it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts,
will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an everflowing stream.
“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Vision and Longing
Last week in my Sunday school class we watched a video clip of a professor doing a lecture that really could be called a rant. He spoke with passion and strong language. I sent the link to the video to someone who replied that his delivery was so powerful it was almost off-putting, but he spoke with such intelligence that his rant was compelling.
We only read a snippet of the prophet Amos, but Amos reads like a rant. He feels passionately about issues so he uses intense language. And because he is a prophet, and prophets speak for God, he makes it sound like God is ranting too.