Advent Meditation: December 12, 2021

63:1-8(9-11), 98; 103
Amos 9:11-15 2Thess. 2:1-3,13-17 John 5:30-47

“I will plant them upon their land.” Amos has just spent eight chapters calling out God’s judgment on the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Now, suddenly, something turns in his prophecy.

Julius Wellhausen, the ground-breaking Old Testament scholar of the 19th century, saw this turn as a failure of nerve, a sudden turn to “roses and lavender in place of blood and iron.”

But I suspect something else is happening here in what Ellen Davis calls a “soil-centered” prophecy. The whole book has been about unjust agriculture developments that are about to drive the kingdom’s economy to ruin. The people will come uprooted from the land of promise. Families and widows will live in grief and poverty.

But this, Amos reminds them, is not what God made them for. The prophet sees the day when the sower and harvest will race one another through lush fields. When wine will run through river beds. The crimes of priests and kings will not deter God’s promise, though the road back will be long and sorrowful.

What the shepherd from Tekoa turns to here is hope, and hope is no failure of nerve.

Amos’s words need almost no revision today. Our land is in turmoil. We have forgotten how to live in God’s promise. Judgment is upon us. But so is hope. A sorrow-filled, beautiful hope.

Lord Jesus, you have promised restoration to all creation. Grant us the hope that comes from courageous truth-telling. Amen.

Listen to Tony read his Advent meditation and prayer:

One Response

  1. Thank you! for your meditation. It reminds me of “the climate crisis.”
    Perhaps you have already read Paul Hawken’s REGENERATION: ENDING THE CLIMATE CRISIS IN ONE GENERATION (2021)? Hawken’s previous DRAWDOWN was a NEW YORK TIMES bestseller. FORBES has an article about Hawken’s REGENERATION.
    Sincerely, in Christ, Mrs. Dottie K. H. Alt (& Lowell E. Alt, jr.–BSEE, MBA, PE–author of ENERGY UTILITY RATE SETTING & family)
    p.s. Hoping for the “Miracles of Christmas”!

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