"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Amos: Justice Rolls Down
Amos 1:1-2; 5:14-15, 21-24 Commentary
by Juliana Claassens
The lectionary text for this week offers three snippets from the book of Amos that together communicate the book’s profound concern with justice.
First, in Amos 1:1, the prophet Amos, whose profession is identified as being a shepherd from Tekoa, is introduced in terms of his capacity to go serve as a prophet to the Northern part of the country at a very specific point in time -- two years before the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah and King Jeroboam of Israel.
This introduction also introduces the main theme of the book that is concerned with the call “to seek good and not evil, that you may live” (Amos 1:2). Similar to much of the Deuteronomistic and Wisdom traditions, this call to refrain from evil is thought to lead to life, while failing to seek the good inevitably will lead to death.
In Amos 1:2, one finds the image of God roaring like an angry lion from Zion – an image that powerfully captures the underlying emphasis on judgment accompanying the call to justice in this text. The sound of God’s voice speaking of rage and judgment has an adverse effect on the environment as the shepherds’ ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL290: Amos: Justice Rolls Down
November 12, 2017
This is the podcast for Amos 1:1-2; 5:14-15, 21-24, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Nov. 12, 2017, featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Craig Koester. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.