“I think you might have helped me decide not to adopt.”
She was worried that I’d be dismayed at her words, thinking I wanted everyone to adopt. I had just delivered a fairly candid, vulnerable message to a group of women on the topic of adoption. In our conversation afterward, I reassured her of what I’ve long held to be true:
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”@kirsten828″ suffix=”#adoption”]Not everyone is called to adopt. But every child deserves a family. [/inlinetweet]
Everyone can do something to help orphans. And I do wish everyone would. I base my opinion on God’s adoption of us into His family (Ephesians 1:5), and the exhortation in James 1:27 that we show pure and blameless religion by looking after orphans (and widows).
With so much injustice happening the world-over, how are we to ‘think on’ things that are just?
It’s a four-letter word we use as an adjective, usually to to describe that something is “fitting” or “appropriate.” Some Bible translations render today’s word as “right” or “fair.” Paul urges his hearers to think on things that are just, as a way to guard their minds from anxiety and fear. In Biblical terms, “just” means
I pack school lunches every. single. morning.
And I have for nearly ten years now. Last week, as I stood in my kitchen, staring down at the empty lunch boxes on my kitchen counter, I got a little grumpy about having to do it again. “I’m so over making lunches.” But, I cobbled together a collection of leftovers, juice pouches, baby carrots and the cursory apple and sent my people on their way.
Just a couple hours later, I stood at the stainless gates that are my refrigerator and bemoaned that there was nothing I’d like to eat. Nevertheless, I rummaged through and found something to throw in my gullet.
When my daughter was young, getting her dressed was a chore.
It shouldn’t have been so hard… she had both a closet and dresser burgeoning with darling Gymboree ensembles. Nevertheless, our morning routines were never pleasant. Many hours were lost to screaming fits over the necessity of wearing pants, shoes and shirts. (She may not have been the only one screaming.)
Have you ever thought your chump change couldn’t change a life?
In the comment section of last week’s post, I mentioned that I was observing seven types of fasts during the course of Lent this year. (Care to join me? Tell me in the comments below and I’ll add you to our virtual book group.)
As part of my “food fast” last week I tallied the cost of the food I ate each day. This cultivated in me new mindfulness of not just the expense, but of how readily I buy food for convenience, not nutrition or need.
Amos’ fourth vision is of a basket of ripe fruit. While there’s nothing tastier than a pear at the peak of its ripeness, this is anything but a moment to savor. Amos is possibly playing on similar sound of two Hebrew words: fruit and end. As such, one could interpret the first verse to say “I see a basket of the end.” Even if this wasn’t Amos’ intent, the vision depicts the same: Israel as a basket of fruit that is now ripe for God’s judgment.
It would be easier to choose a different book to study.
Amos’ message is difficult. After several weeks of a consistent theme, I confess I feel tempted to gloss over it, eager for a new, cheery topic. Do his words feel dreary or depressing to you? Did Amos tire of preaching it? Let us not give up: justice depends on it.
We’re tuning our ears to hear God’s words as spoken through the prophet Amos this fall. It’s not too late to jump in — join us!
Having exposed all of their neighbors for their sin (including the southern kingdom of Judah), Amos now squarely levies God’s charges against Israel to them in the balance of chapter two (verses 6-16).
For three things, and more
Israel’s neighbors had been found guilty of gross mistreatment of humankind, as we saw in the previous chapter of Amos. Judah was indicted for a more grievous sin: rejecting God’s laws and disregarding His decrees. Amos turns the mirror to Israel, allowing God’s light to reflect back to them their sin, not at all unlike that of their neighbors.