Scripture: Amos 3:1-11
Key verse: (8) “The lion has roared; who will not fear? The Lord God has spoken; who can but prophesy?”
Reflection: We are three days into Advent, and Amos is not letting us get ahead of ourselves to the manger of Christmas. Even though I love the beautiful Christmas decorations that have adorned my neighborhood since before Thanksgiving, we are not yet at Christmas. The prophets we read throughout Advent bring us back to this reality year after year. Advent is a special season, a season that both looks back and looks forward. We look back as we recall the waiting and anticipation for the Messiah, the one to come and save God’s people. For there was a lot that the Jewish community prayed to be saved from; from oppressive foreign rule, from economic inequalities, from the threat of war and violence, from homelessness and dispersion from their land. In the prophets at this time of year we read of the waiting for a savior.
And yet in Advent we also look forward, to the coming of Christ again to reign in full. And like the community long ago we too are waiting, for the kingdom of our savior to be realized. We wait for communities of violence to be at peace, we wait for economic inequalities to be leveled, we wait for the homeless to find a place of rest and comfort and peace.
It is tempting to skip over these words of the prophets, to move right to the manger. But even if we rush past these words of waiting and warning, our problems don’t go away. In fact, by reading Amos and the other prophets in Advent, we are encouraged and emboldened to know that our waiting is holy, that our waiting comes from a place of hope, that our waiting will be answered with the coming of our savior, Jesus.
As this Advent season is still young, sit in the waiting. Notice where the world is groaning around you and offer to God in prayer the waiting of our world.
Prayer: Holy God, we lift to you the brokenness of the world around us. In this season of Advent, we give thanks that you came to us in Jesus as our Prince of Peace, as our mighty savior. We long for your coming and the reign of your kingdom. Strengthen us in this season of waiting, and open our hearts and our eyes to your kingdom breaking in around us. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].