The topic of our Advent Study year is “The Book of the Prophet Amos”.
There is clearly much for us to reflect on in this Book, which is well worth reading even if you don’t make it along to the study group sessions.
Amos, a shepherd and a farmer, found himself recruited by God to be his prophet to the northern kingdom of Israel, though his message extends to other nations, including the southern kingdom of Judah. Amos saw a society and a religion on its last legs, but nobody else did.
Standards in Amos’ society had declined. Authority and the rule of law were despised, national leadership, while revelling in the publicity and privilege of position and quick to score debating- points, wasn’t facing up to the real issues and standards of public morality were at a low ebb.
Affluence, exploitation and profit were the main motivators of those in power. The rich were affluent enough to have multiple houses, while the poor and defenceless were shamelessly exploited or simply ignored.
Religion at the time adored what was traditional, sacrifices were meticulously offered, the musical side of worship was keenly studied but religious observance had become a self-justifying enterprise, self-pleasing and abhorrent to God.
The state of Amos’ society provide the context for his ministry and also invites us to considering that he might have something to say to us today as there are undoubtedly parallels between Amos’ society and our own.
Groups start in the week beginning 25th November.
There will be one session after the midweek service in St Finnbarr’s
at 11am on Wednesday mornings 30th Nov and 7th and 14th Dec
A second session will be held after the midweek service in St Andrew’s hall
at 7pm on Thursday evenings 1st, 8th and 15th Dec.
All are most welcome whether or not they’re members of any of our congregations.