Today’s Reading is very short. Just one verse. From the prophet Amos 5v24 –
24 But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
So my question to you is What does that look like for you tomorrow?
God is calling us to create a better world – a world full of Justice and Righteousness – that’s the sort of world that we want Heidi to grow up in.
So What do we do about that.
Before you heckle – I’ll give you a bit of time to think.
Context –Amos is speaking about 750 years before Jesus.
He’s not a professional – He’s a shepherd and he also farms Figs. He lived about 10m south of Jerusalem.
So my point 1 is – if you want a better world then start doing something yourself. – don’t wait for the professionals, for the institutions. Amos is not a professional prophet, a paid religious person, a politician – he’s someone who cares enough to speak up.
Point 2 – Worship God – Amos has gone to the North of the country where they’ve set up a couple of Golden Calves to worship, and they’ve added to that any other number of other gods you can worship. In the process of that they’ve forgotten that worship – is not especially about making sure that you leave feeling good about yourself – its about two other things.
Its about Loving God
And its about loving your neighbour – as yourself.
So Amos actually says lots of stuff about how God does not like the worship where we use it to absolve ourselves of our responsibilities to care for each other.
The book of Amos has God saying “I hate your religious festivals” That is because we can get so fixated on producing something that makes me happy, that we forget that worship is about allowing God to change me.
Amos said – They were so busy using religion to make themselves happy that they had forgotten what it means to love your neighbour as you love yourself.
Amos said – They were so busy ignoring worship of the LORD God, skipping on Church, so as to please themselves – that they were forgetting about Justice and Righteousness. –
Obviously we’re not like that! SO my question to you is How do we make sure that we’re not like that?
How do we help Heidi to grow up in a world where there’s lots of Righteousness and lots of Justice?
- Wanting Heidi to know that Jesus loves her. – How? Reading the bible – bed time bible stories – 3 stories, one of which is a bible story.
- Worship – being part of a worshipping family is important because it stops us from being locked away in our own mindset.
- I want her to know that Jesus listens to her – Praying – the importance of modelling that – letting your child see you pray (Builder: Daddy will you pray for my friend Sarah) So when you’re pacing the house in the early hours, pray, pray the Lord’s prayer, prayer for different people, its not like you’re doing anything else. As they get older praying with them as part of their go-to-sleep regime.
- Wanting Heidi to know that Jesus forgives us when we make mistakes. Power of saying Sorry, even to your child – when you’re in the wrong. Jesus is going to help me next time round
- Being the Good Samaritan – giving to the Church, to charity, to the homeless and letting your child know that that’s what you do. (Yr3 – mostly about Recycling)
- Godparents: Pray for the parents, remember baptism day, 1st Dec, pray for the child. When you’re over read a bible story, pray a prayer. (Oh but I can’t do that! You’re a godparent now! So step up, get yourself to an Alpha course, start praying and reading that Bible).
- Jesus is with me – how to remember this throughout the week? – tomorrow?
Heckled comments – about importance of being honest with your children, about your emotions, about Celebrating good times and crying in sad times,
(Photo is of the Christening moment in St Lukes with mum looking on).