Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week

Message of Amos – Live Justly

Amos 5v21-24 “I despise your religious feasts; I cannot despise your assemblies … But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”

It may seem strange for a church leader to quote a verse where God is despising what might nowadays be the Sunday service! But being a church leader is not primarily about Sunday morning, it is about encouraging people in following Jesus. Of course, Sunday morning plays a significant part in that as we all gather together, but it has to flow out in an impact on our whole lives, or there is little point. Indeed by Amos’s message, if it is not flowing out in streams of justice and righteousness, it is despised by God as just a show. Those are strong words.

God calls his people to a new way of living. A way which does not seek our own glory or benefit. A way which looks beyond ourselves and our own concerns to the wider people of God and on out into wider society. It is so easy to get stuck in our own ‘needs’. Many say that material things do not bring happiness, but to what extent is that truly believed? One thing that was very obvious during my recent trip to Uganda and Zambia is that people who have virtually nothing can be very happy and full of hope and joy. It is pertinent that just this March, a global MIND survey concluded that the UK is the second most unhappy of the 71 nations they surveyed in the world – and yet the World Bank records us as one of the richest.

Sue and I watched “Ordinary Angels” last night – a Christian film. In it, a lady who had significant difficulties became captivated with helping another family, as she did so, she focussed on others rather than herself and her life was transformed.

In the parable of the sower, Jesus says the “worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” Do you want to go on to be fruitful for God? Maybe Amos has a message for us today.


With love and blessing,