God mourns. How strange is that? He experiences loss. Our high theology leaves no room for such sentiment. Yet Jesus came to show what God was like and Jesus wept.
How strange is that?Read More
We are apocalyptic. We live in a culture of doom. Every other film is the End of The World, by asteroid, weather, aliens and now the dead.
How are Christians different? We embrace the End. We look forward to the “Lord’s return.” But should we? There will be no more tears, no more pain, no more mourning, no more suffering – but for whom?Read More idolatry, justice, the End, loving-kindness
“Horses cannot gallop on rocks, oceans cannot be plowed” (6:12). War, trade and wealth warped like a Dali painting. Bitterness squeezed from the just and fair.
“You are cruel, and you forget the coming day of judgment” (6:3). Lounge lizards, celebrity chefs, pop singers, wine connoisseurs, perfume pushers, do not care about the ruin of their society – then as now.Read More heroes, celebrity, servants
“Forgive me for asking.“ (7:2) We ask forgiveness for many things, but how often do we ask forgiveness for the questions we pose God? Does it sound stilted, rather formal; how you might speak to the Queen? What does it say about Amos? He is like Abraham with his plea for Sodom & Gomorrah: “May the Lord not be angry” even though “I am but dust and ashes” may I ask: “If there are just fifty… forty, thirty, twenty, ten” righteous people will you relent?Read More repentance, kindness, intimacy with God, all-powerful
On what size screen would you see a vision from God? IMAX? Would it be in 3D? This one is not pre-recorded, but it’s not live either. Amos sees what hasn’t happened yet. He is not just in the seats, he is in the scene, he is part of the story. He speaks. The Director stops, “CUT.” Amos pleads: too much fire, too many locusts, too much blood. The Director orders: “Rewind. Edit.”Read More humility, identity, famine
“I saw the Lord” (9:1 NIV). Have you? What does God look like? How much room does he take up? Our minds cannot cope with God. It is true: there is a hole the size of eternity and infinity, right in the middle. Our minds have a sink hole that does not end. But it’s boarded over. Sometimes it floods and half our treasures, and ideas, are sucked down, spinning like debris in a drain. But God, out there. God in front of our eyes?Read More judgment, mercy, truth
One pride is worse than any, the religious kind. We are Israelites. We are Judeans. We are Jews. We are Baptists. We are Reformed. We are Methodists. There is always a capital letter. We are The Ones: the right rituals, the right uniforms, the right songs, the right books, the right heroes, the right to judge. But “the Ethiopians are no less important to Me than you are” (9:7).Read More creation, delusion, renovation