|Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary
Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Ephesians 1:3-14 or 1:3-10
So as to be more available to the graces of the liturgy's readings,
you might imagine Jesus sitting at a table handing out walking papers to the
six pairs of disciples. He calls their names; they step up to receive
their destinations and directions. To each twosome, he hands walking
sticks, one book bag between them and a hearty handshake. The disciples
seem both eager, but timid.
We pray these days to be the church of Jesus’ mobility.
We attend the liturgy so as to be moved to attend the needy, lonely, scared,
and marginal. We pray for the freedom from depending overly on security
systems of various kinds. We pray for the freedom from and the freedom
for reaching out, touching, accompanying, and in that way, preaching the Good
News of the care of God. We can pray for the grace to extend Christ’s
peace as we walk through our days in his ways.
The early portion of the chapter from which our reading is taken, Amos presents three visions of what is going to happen. The first is of a swarm of locusts eating up even the King’s Portion of the early grains. Amos pleads that this not happen and so it did not. The second is a drought which will ravage all the crops and herds. Again Amos pleads and the Lord relents.
The third vision is of a man with a plumb line. The device
is used to determine how out of line a wall might be. Israel is the
wall and it is leaning badly almost ready to fall. The Lord tells Amos
that he will destroy all that Israel treasures and in which they have taken
their security. Amos does not intervene. Amaziah, a temple confidante
of Jeroboam, sends word that Amos must be silenced, because he is predicting
exile from Israel and death for Jeroboam himself.
Jesus did tell them to expect rejection or at least not to be accepted just because he sent them to do some good things for people. He told them to expect it and when it comes, they should just keep on walking and talking.
Last week we heard that Jesus had returned to his own hometown
and he himself was rejected and so had to move on. This week we hear
that the early church was given the same message we receive from Jesus.
When we are doing the works of healing this world and all the areas of hurt
and division, do not expect an open-arm welcome and acceptance. Amos
tried announcing God’s word and he got kicked out. Jesus gets people angry
by teaching and curing. Modern-day martyrs speak the Good News and offer
graceful assistance and have gotten early entrances into eternal life for
“The sparrow even finds a home, the swallow finds a nest wherein to place her young, near to your altar, Lord of host, my King, my God.” Psalm 84
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook