A sermon idea based on Amos 8:1-12.
Hunger is something many of us know nothing about. I’ve been hungry after skipping a few meals or after doing something physically exerting. But I’ve always known where my next meal was coming from.
Too many people in our world experience the reality of hunger in a way that can’t be satisfied with a quick trip to the fridge or the nearest grocery store.
Amos, a farmer by trade, had spent his life feeding people. The picture with which he opens this prophetic word was very familiar to him – a basket of summer fruit, ripe and juicy.
And from that refreshing image, Amos gives a warning about the consequences of disobeying God and getting stuck in a downward spiral.
The consequence of ignoring or disobeying God is that we eventually lose the sound of his voice, and we go spiritually hungry.
Remember that Amos was directing his prophecy to a particular people in a particular historical setting. Our question today is, how do we avoid ending up in the same kind of downward spiritual spiral that Amos was addressing?
We stay nourished!
In order to stay spiritually nourished, we need to take in enough of that which feeds us – the revelation of God in scripture, fellowship with God’s people, and awe and wonder at the beauty of God’s world.
We need to avoid a steady diet of that which turns our hearts toward rebellion, selfishness, and darkness.
And we need to have healthy limits on junk food – those things which aren’t necessarily bad but tend to convince us we’re satisfied when we really need something more substantial.
And having taken in the fresh, life-giving nourishment of God’s revelation, we store our faith for the lean times when we walk through grief, suffering, or periods of waiting.
About the artwork:: Chandler, Joseph Goodhue, 1813-1884. Still Life with Fruit, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.