When we speak of Amos today, we know that he was one of Israel's great prophets. Yet at the time when Amos spoke, he took pains to remind us that he was just an ordinary migrant worker. What he spoke were the words God had shown him.
God spoke to him through a series of visions that came to Amos when he was in worship. As he participated in these common rituals of worship, which he and others had seen hundreds of times, this time the ritual had a clarity that it had never had before. It is the fourth vision that I want to focus on.
Christopher Keating Mary Austin George Reed Dean Feldmeyer Bethany Peerbolte Thomas Willadsen
Few things are more illustrative than a juicy, tightly phrased nugget of hyperbole or literary exaggeration. From Monty Python to Cicero, literature is filled with these leg-pulling and eye rolling tidbits. To wit:
“You were lucky.We lived for three months in a brown paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six o’clock in the morning, clean the bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down at the mill for 14 hours a day and when we got home, our Dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt!” (Monty Python).
How are you this morning? Are you feeling sunny or cloudy? Stormy or balmy? Using weather talk how would you describe yourself. For me, I'm feeling _____________.
I have a question.
And I have some surprising good news. Are you ready? (children respond) The question is: have you ever eaten food without salt? Did you ever eat french fries without salt? Have you ever eaten potato chips without salt? Without salt food can be tasteless and unappetizing.
Bonnie Bates Bob Ove Bill Thomas Frank Ramirez Ron Love Mark Ellingsen
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22 The 14th Day of Adar, the feast of Purim, commemorates a time when the Jewish people were saved during the Persian Empire. Tribal genocide was proposed by Haman; his desire was to annihilate the whole nation of Israel. Esther, you will remember, was encouraged by Mordecai to stand up for her people with the king of Persia. Risking her life, Esther goes before the king and advocates for justice.
Esther is not just the winner of a beauty contest. She, like us, has the potential to rise to the unexpected occasion! She turns out to be greater than we, and she, thought she was.
According to the most practical book of the New Testament, the letter of James, prayer is more than simply the channel for our hopes. Prayer is the practical avenue for getting things done with God, and should be treated seriously. Prayer is more than you think.
The chairman of our local district council has just been ordained. For the first year he will be a deacon, then in a year's time should be ordained priest in accordance with Church of England tradition. In an article in the local paper he said, "One woman told me that she got a lot from my sermons and prayers because she felt like she was leaning on a garden gate talking to God."
That seems to me to be such a good description of prayer, to be leaning on a garden gate talking to God. It conjures up a feeling
Several years ago at my previous congregation I remember a discussion I had with the church council. It was very revealing of the kind of distorted vision of ministry that is very much afoot in the church these days.