Amos 5, 4-8
Something to read
For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:
But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.
Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.
Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,
Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.
King James Version
For thus says the Lord to the house of Israel: Seek me and live;
but do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal or cross over to Beer-sheba; for Gilgal shall surely go into exile, and Bethel shall come to nothing.
Seek the Lord and live, or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire, and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it. Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground!
The one who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea, and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the Lord is his name,
New Revised Standard Version
Something to think about
Today we are in the middle of Holy week. It is a time when there is no turning back for Jesus himself as we remember Christ's courage and the hope he gives us in facing his own painful death upon the cross and beyond in Jerusalem on Good Friday.
It is this that gives us hope in an uncertain world. It is only He who can sustain us and by his courage we are sustained in our adversity.
The passage today from Amos reminds us to 'seek the Lord and live', but it also states the importance of not just seeking God in holy places where God has acted in the past in history and idolise them.
Instead we are asked to seek the path of life in the living God of the present by a relationship in prayer.
It is by doing so we are given the courage to face life's uncertainties and it is in prayer we discover that we do not travel alone but are enjoined to others throughout the world whom God calls into a fellowship of a new life in this world and the next.
Something to do
Reflect on and pray for the places in the world facing adversity. This can be done with the daily newspapers or remembering the news. Then ask God to show us new ways of praying for and remembering them.
Something to pray
Lord God you ask us to seek the path of life by a prayerful relationship with you and yet we confess that sometimes our human frailty makes it difficult. Help us in our weakness by your Holy Spirit to pray for those in your world facing adversity, suffering, poverty and injustice.
Lord, your servant Amos reminds us that you put the stars into the sky and you can change things and bring comfort to those in need. We pray that your suffering people in the world will know your presence and your sustaining love in this life and the life to come.
Today's contributor is Emma Perry, a student at Westminster College, Cambridge.