So I decided to read the book of Amos today for my devotional time, and one passage particularly struck me – so much I read it over and over again. I found it from The Message paraphrase, and figured I’d copy it here:
“I can’t stand your religious meetings.
I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.
I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.
I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.
I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want?
I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.
That’s what I want. That’s all I want.”
– Amos 5:21-24
I guess I just was thinking how easy it is to get caught up in all of the silliness and forget to put our faith into action. Amos was a Judean shepherd who prophesied to Israel at a time when it was wealthy, materialistic, and greedy. Amos tells the Israelites that a day of judgment would come, and the Assyrians would soon be coming to destroy them. And I read that passage, and I think of the two things God wanted: to be praised for all of His goodness, and justice to those around us. Not a weekly Bible study. Not a capital building campaign. Not a 40 days of anything, but praise and justice. None of those former things are bad unto themselves, lest they stop us from the latter.