Susquehanna Morning

Susquehanna Morning

Friday, December 4, 2015

Advent 1 Friday: The One Who Made the Pleiades and Orion

Stay with us Lord, for it is evening, and the day is almost over...

Our passage this evening is from the Amos 5:1-17. We're reading the Common English Bible translation.

A song of lament

Hear this word—a funeral song—that I am lifting up against you, house of Israel:
    Fallen, no more to rise,
        is virgin Israel,
    deserted on her land,
        with no one to raise her up.
    The Lord God proclaims:
    The city that marched out one thousand people
        will have one hundred left,
    and the city that marched out one hundred will have ten left in the house of Israel.

Words of encouragement

    The Lord proclaims to the house of Israel:
        Seek me and live.
    But don’t seek Bethel,
        don’t enter into Gilgal,
        or cross over to Beer-sheba;
    for Gilgal will go into exile,
        and Bethel will come to nothing.
    Seek the Lord and live,
        or else God might rush like a fire against the house of Joseph.
        The fire will burn up Bethel, with no one to put it out.

Words of doom

    Doom to you who turn justice into poison,
        and throw righteousness to the ground!
    The one who made the Pleiades and Orion,
        and turns deep darkness into the morning,
        and darkens the day into night;
    who summons the waters of the sea,
        and pours them out on the surface of the earth—
        this one’s name is the Lord
    who causes destruction to flash out against the strong,
        so that destruction comes upon the fortress.
10 They hate the one who judges at the city gate,
        and they reject the one who speaks the truth.
11 Truly, because you crush the weak,
        and because you tax their grain,
    you have built houses of carved stone,
        but you won’t live in them;
    you have planted pleasant vineyards,
        but you won’t drink their wine.
12 I know how many are your crimes,
        and how numerous are your sins—
    afflicting the righteous,
        taking money on the side,
        turning away the poor who seek help.
13 Therefore, the one who is wise will keep silent in that time;
        it is an evil time.

Words of inspiration

14 Seek good and not evil,
        that you may live;
    and so the Lord, the God of heavenly forces,
        will be with you just as you have said.
15 Hate evil, love good,
        and establish justice at the city gate.
Perhaps the Lord God of heavenly forces
        will be gracious to what is left of Joseph.

Divine wrath anticipated

16 Truly, the Lord proclaims,
        the God of heavenly forces, the Lord:
    Crying will be heard in all the squares.
        In all the streets they will say, “Oh no! Oh no!”
    They will call upon the farmers to wail,
        and those skilled in mourning to lament.
17 In all the vineyards there will be bitter crying because
        I will pass through your midst,
says the Lord.

Those who wish to continue with Lectio Divina can click here, then return to this page for the meditation and prayer. 


Sometimes the words of scripture really do feel "ripped from the headlines," as the promos for that TV show used to say. We read and hear, on a daily basis, of people driven from their homes by war and destruction, of the strong oppressing the weak, of the wealthy oppressing the poor, of bribes taken, crimes concealed, and righteousness thrown to the ground.

It is overwhelming...

...said she, in her warm living room, a candle lit for her time of prayer and meditation.

What is a person of faith to do? Where is a person of faith to go?

We go to the One who made the Pleiades and Orion. 

We locate ourselves, first, as very, very small, in God's grand scheme, and yet, at the same time, precious enough, and beloved enough, to receive words of supplication from that very same Creator. 

I have heard it said, "To be humble is to carry a slip of paper in each pocket. On one, it says, 'I am as low as the lowest worm that crawls through the earth.' And on the other it says, 'I am a beloved child of God, and all the stars in the heavens were created for my delight.'" 

We are of the earth and of the heavens at the same time. We can't use one to escape from the other. Our calling is both to lift our hearts, minds, wills to God, and to use our hands, legs, and mouths for God's suffering people.

We seek the Lord and live. We establish justice.

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel," based on an 8th century text and 15th century French melody,
 performed by Linda Ronstadt


You who made the Pleiades and Orion, you alone are the Maker of all that is. Look with tenderness on your suffering people, and teach us what we must do to show them your love. We pray in the name of Jesus, the One who came as a poor refugee. Amen.

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