The song of Hope sung as the 122nd psalm. Beautiful and hopeful! This is who we are as God’s people. I imagine it being sung with great joy in the temple during the first half of the eighth century before Jesus’ birth. It was the time of great peace and prosperity under the rule of Jeroboam II. The expectation was of continued good times.
Amos speaks the word of the Lord during this heady time. He is not proclaiming an affirmation of Psalm 122. The Expectation is one of abandonment by God, who is angry and ready to punish and re-establish righteousness.
Hopes and Expectations: what is the problem, O Lord? The market is up. Sales high. GDP climbing. Unemployment low. No nation foolish enough to attack. What’s up? Why the harsh tone? Amos, have you lost your mind?
The prosperity of the nation led to gross inequities between urban elites and the poor. Even the smallest debt was used to separate small landowners and farmers from the land that was their legacy and their liberty.
That was then, 780 ish to 740ish BCE.
Prayer: God of justice and mercy, be merciful on us. Help us to receive the whole of the gift of Christmas. The prince of peace reign in our lives, as we endeavor to establish justice, make peace, act with compassion and kindness, living in the Truth. Amen.