“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.
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