Sunday, July 26th

The Book of Amos: “Defender of the Downtrodden”
Readings: Amos 7:7-9, Amos 9:11-15 and Mark 3:22-35

Reflection Questions
(The chapters covered in this week’s reflections are Amos 6-9. Consider reading them in their entirety.)

  1. Read Amos 7:7-9. Pause to consider the picture God showed Amos. (If you do not know what a plumb line is or how it is used, search for an image and description of it on line.) What comes to mind as you consider the picture of a plumb line against a wall? Consider the broad spectrum of the building metaphor hinted at here by a plumb line against a wall. What might God be trying to say to Israel? What wisdom for your own life, relationship to God and with others do you garner from the metaphor? Are there any areas in your life that seem off kilter, out of alignment with God, or weakened, ready to collapse because of building without a plumb line? What might need to happen or change to build well and for the long haul? Talk to God about these things.
  2. Read Amos 9:11-15. Here’s our hint of hope, a glimpse of restoration. What do you hear? What’s envisioned? What gives encouragement? Are there areas in your life that have fallen down, or are broken by sin or by being sinned against? Where do you see the need for repair? Are there creative ways you might seek repair? What might restoration look like for you? Fashion your thoughts and longings for restoration into a prayer before God – the Repairer of the breach and the Restorer of things lost and broken.
  3. Consider the Gospel reading in Mark 3:22-35 as you conclude these reflections. You may want to read the passage slowly a few times to really listen to what confronts Jesus, how he responds, what he is saying to his followers. Which of Jesus’ words and responses resonates most with you? Why? Notice if it is related to what you are confronted with in your own life? How do you understand the connection between doing God’s will and intimate kinship (family relationship)?

Take a moment in silence to hear again these words of Jesus as you take them to heart:

The person who obeys God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.
(The Message)