Let Justice Roll Down: The Words of Amos // Hope Inspires Our Hunger for Transformation // Kate Murphy

This Sunday, we wrap up our series with the fierce, final words of the prophet Amos. Unexpectedly, these words will be the most difficult to hear. They differ markedly from what came before, so much so that some scholars presume the words must be written by someone else. But I don’t think so. It’s just that Amos dared to do that most difficult thing—proclaim the truth about hope.

The trouble with hope is that we don’t understand it. Hope eludes us. It’s a holy gift we don’t know how to use. We use it to excuse our by-standing and justify our indifference to suffering—our assumption that since God is good, things really can’t be that bad.

But hope wasn’t made to prop up evil. It’s a revelation of God’s unwavering promise to redeem creation—not destroy it. Hope gives us the courage to love life even as it breaks our hearts. Hope gives us the wisdom to discern where and how God is redeeming our neighborhood, even now.

I hope you’ll listen in as we allow ourselves to have hope—not in the way things are, and not in our efforts to control or change them. But in the astonishing goodness of God and his promises.

Let Justice Roll Down: The Words of Amos // Injustice Invalidates Our Sacrifice // Kate Murphy

“Let justice roll down like a mighty river, righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

This is Amos’ greatest hit. We love to sing these words; we revel in their poetic power. But, they aren’t art. They are the desperate prayer of a prophet—and they are also God’s answer to that prayer. And to those of us who trust Jesus and love his way, these words shouldn’t sound like a burden or a threat. They should sound like a promise.

This Sunday,  we listen deeply to Amos’ holy, fiery words. We learn why there was a justice drought in his day and ponder the conditions of our own. But most importantly, we learn how to live in light of this promise. Not passively, as if it’s God’s work and none of our business. And not delusionally either, as if we are God and it’s all up to us.

Our Jewish sisters and brothers have been wrestling with these words from Amos for centuries. In a sacred text called the Mishna, Rabbi Tarfon wrote, “It is not your responsibility to finish the work of perfecting the world, but you are not free to desist from it either.”

So friends, listen in as we seek to walk this path together—not to merely love these words, but to live them.

Let Justice Roll Down: The Words of Amos // Injustice Invalidates Our Worship // Kate Murphy

Last Sunday, we met Amos—an outsider prophet who loved God and people enough to tell the truth, even when it was painful, risky, and had very little chance of producing change (you can watch and listen to the message on Facebook Live!). This Sunday, we move from who to what. What was so terribly wrong in Amos’ day? What are the similarities to life today?

Listen in to hear the fiery words of this prophet who speaks into our culture just as clearly as he did to his own. This isn’t scripture that will soothe or settle us, rather it could be the refining fire that cleanses and restores us to faithfulness. They may not be the words we want, but they might just be the words that we need.