Scripture: Amos 5:1–17 (Today’s Readings)
This passage seems to be an unusual choice of text in connection with Advent. The Prophet harshly reprimands the nation of Israel for the offenses of trampling upon the poor, afflicting the righteous, and engaging in bribery. The tone of the passage seems to be at odds with the spirit of Advent.
During this season, we experience a sense of joyful anticipation. We look forward to Christmas, when we receive God’s loving gift to us in His Son, Jesus Christ.
We have a responsibility to prepare ourselves spiritually for Christ’s coming. It is in this sense that we may discover a parallel with Amos’s text. If Israel is to survive as a nation, Amos tells the people that they must “seek the Lord and live” (v. 6). In the same way, we must open our hearts and minds to welcome Christ’s redeeming presence. Our thoughts and actions must be such as to make us worthy vessels of receiving Jesus Christ. As Isaiah 40:3 commands, we must “prepare the way of the Lord.”
Prayer: Our heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of Advent. We pray that You will help us as we strive to become worthy recipients of Jesus’ presence. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.
Contributed by Dr. Margaret A. Ross Mehl, Elder
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Artwork: Detail of No Between © Jan L. Richardson. janrichardson.com. Inspired by Isaiah 64:1: “O that You would tear open the heavens and come down … .”