Given by Rev. Madison Shockley January 16, 2022

Amos tells us of the anger of God at the hollowness of the ancient Israelite religion and the shallowness of their faith. Religion is like a cult. A cult is any community that is organized to venerate, worship and propagate a person. The ancients saw the Jewish people as the Yahweh cult and the followers of Jesus as the Christ cult. Cults can become corrupted though. God sent a prophet to confront the Israelites on how their “cult” had been corrupted. God did not like that they relied on their military might. They had grave injustices in their social and community life. There were immoralities. Their worship was shallow and limp. They neglected the true meaning of their faith in their everyday lives. The rituals were meaningless if their lives were not focused on justice. Amos warns them their rituals will be rejected. The Temple will not have God in it. If people do not work for justice on the weekdays, God will not bless the church on the weekends. As we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we note that his most famous words comes from Amos. We can never be satisfied while there is injustice. The Black Lives Matter movement encompasses a wide variety of people now. It carries the mantle of the Civil Rights Movement and has expanded to encompasses other injustices. We stop being church when we stop fighting for justice. We can meet God in the streets with our brothers and sisters. Let justice roll down like water!