Sorry for the late post; probably have to take a cut in pay. Hope you enjoy seeing the pictures of Ella Grace...she is absolutely fantastic (which means she takes after her mom).
The text for Sunday, Amos 5:18-24, is one of the most powerful pericopes in the Old Testament. Amos, the sheep herding prophet of the South travels to the Northern Kingdom of Israel and tells the people as he speaks for God, "I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like an never-failing stream."
The people long for the "day of the Lord" thinking that God would punish the enemies of Israel, and that the Hebrew people would be safe and comfortable. Amos, like many of the prophets, turns their expectations upside down and tells them the day of the Lord will not be a punishment for others, but for you.
You see, the Israelites had committed a great sin...they had grown complacent in their worship of God. They were going through the motions and they were not taking care of the poor. They had forgotten some of the core teachings of God, and had become much too comfortable in their own righteousness.
I admit this text worries me because many Christians and many churches are perhaps falling into the same trap. We are confident that when Jesus returns, He will judge "them" for their sins, and we, obviously the chosen few, will be fine. My only comment to that is wake up! All of us are sinners in need of God's grace. And the moment we become comfortable in our own righteousness, then perhaps we have much to fear.
Instead of committing the same sin, we need to seek justice and righteousness that God espouses...right relationships with God and right relationships with humanity. We need to look after the poor and help the destitute. We need to approach worship as an opportunity to commune with the Most High God instead of seeing it as an obligation to fulfill.
May we never take for granted our status in God's eyes, and may we never take for granted our responsibility in worship, and to all of humanity. May God forgive us where we fall short, and set us back on the path where He leads. Amen
Sports Corner (12-8)
Tough week last week sports fans. I ended up 1-2 which was my first losing week this year. I tell you right now, no more!
GA Tech is off this week after an incredible win vs. Clemson. They play a huge game with championship implications at home vs. VA Tech on Thursday Nov. 10th. Too early to call that game, but know it will be big.
GA Southern got beat by App State for their first loss of the year. Tough loss, but one that they can recover from. The Eagles take on the Citadel for their Homecoming Game Saturday. GA Southern should win relatively easy...I'll say Eagles by 10, and going away.
UGA is coming off a great win at Florida, only their 4th in the last 20 years or so. They may be somewhat flat vs. New Mexico State. Also hurting the dogs this week is that they are without their top 3 running backs...the trio was suspended one game for team violations (all signs point to drugs). Not Good. But UGA has too much talent and NM State has too little talent. Dogs win, but do not cover the 33 point spread.
Finally, the Falcons take on the Indianapolis Colts in Indy this week. Usually, this would be a feature game, but the Colts have be struck by the injury bug. The greatest quarterback of the last 10 years (save Tom Brady) is Peyton Manning. Peyton is out with a serious neck injury and will not participate. The Falcons are starting to show some life again and perhaps a new identity on offense. I say take the Birds and the points (7).
Thanks for reading and may God bless you as you serve,