Am1-2 Thus says the Lord.. even if we stop short of such overboldness we can borrow Amos' homiletics because the Lord is still judging both sin and bad religion. The mega sins of the third and fourth degree in 1v3-2v3 we may see on the 10o'clock news and comfort ourselves that we are Lk18v11 not like one of those. We may not be, but what good is it if our 'righteous' Acts are filthy rags Is6v4, loveless clanging 1Cor1v13, despicable feasts Am5v21? And what is worse, we are we to whom much has been given, so much is expected Lk12v18. Hence 2v4-6v14 on we religiose. Do I v7 turn away from the afflicted? Or v7 fail to defend uniquely faithful heterosexual marriage (esvsb)? Do I support contemporary Nazirites v12 who pursue peculiarity for Jesus sake? Do I allow space for prophecy, for hard and/or affirming words to reach me through my clutter? For sins of omission, escapism, less-than-fully-distinctivism, forgive us.
Am3-4 These verses full of the easily platitudinised reality of the vastness & closeness of God. Acknowledge awe-fully again, under this sky, and nuzzle up to God knowingly. 4v13 God ordained this sunshine and these trees, and knows your thoughts before you do, knows your heart, knows your name. 3v13 God the Lord of hosts, sovereign, v14 judge, 4v1 angry for justice, v2 holy – is the God who 3v2 knows us best. God here as parent; you do not discipline other people's children. We experience our intimacy, our relatedness to God in the hard words we hear. v3 Walking in the cool of the day with this God, v7 God speaks secrets to us, like a lover, of the i've-never-told-anyone-else-this-before intimacy, & God tries everything to woo us back v6-11 it seems. God our v12 shepherd & saviour. So 3v3-4v12 know all life can be this meeting with God, face to face.
Am5-6 Seek 5v4 v6 v14. Ask Seek Knock. Seek and you will find; fail to seek and you will be unfounded thus: we lose v7 moral goodness, v8 cosmological meaning, v10 prophetic truth, and v11 the beauty of craft. So Amos connects architecture to faith. v10-11 Good houses / wine endure as goodness/beauty/truth by-products of social harmony, itself a product of ernest God-seeking? .. 6v1 Woe to those at ease. The world has enough for everyone's need, but not their greed. Similarly, there is rest enough for everyone's Sabbath, but not their ease-iness. Troubled by my comfort, my two cloaks which deprive ones with none. Troubled by my diet which eats because the mouth expects, irrespective of the body's real hunder. I self-justify my comfort by calibration seeked in the Metro?! Oh seek God, with whom it is more comfortable to give than to receive. Woe if you are not grieved 6v6. Rather, be skilled in lamentation 5v16.
Am7-8 7v1-6 The power of petitionary prayers. Pray for others because God listens – this mysterious God who both v3 v6 changes her mind and v8 8v2 doesn't change her mind, is both dialogical and steadfast. Your prayers have a causal efficacy in the Kingdom come that is always already God's work, somehow. 7v10-17 hard words, authentic, heartwrenching prophecy. Christ Jesus, in and through you we pray today for right words in our mouths, and the wisdom and courage to speak them to those before us today. Amen.
Am9 In the concluding sequence of the gospel according to The Amazing Spiderman a teacher pronounces that there are not ten irreducible narratives in fiction, there is one: “Who am I?” And who am I?  I am a sinner, from a v8 sinful kingdom, v9 sieved to be saved, or at least sifted Lk22v31 to be sanctified 1Pt1v7. And while I may be smitten (as Spiderman) by a serpent v3, that serpent has been defeated within the Christos Victor atonement we live in.  I am a rebuilder v14 rebuilt by a rebuilder v11. We do what we see our Father doing: restoring all things. In this way we will be known as those who can fix anything (Is58msg), as Peter Parker's electronics.  I am a harvester. We live after Lk4v32 was fulfilled in our hearing, we live after the wine at the wedding at Cana Jn2. The time is ripe, the harvest is plentiful, and London is waiting for the sons of righteousness to be revealed.
Am9 Furthermore: the promise of painful sifting and coffee-grinding, of reparation and restoration, of firmly planting never to be uprooted again (because Mt13v26 will not apply), these truly are 'the best kind' of promises because – unlike the lustful predator male's – they indeed can and will be kept. And in order to both glorify and ensure the keeping of these best promises (for the Kingdom must be brought here – not as Coldplay's swooning ballad waiting Till Kingdom Come), we have the Great Responsibility as foretold by the prophets/Uncle-Ben/The-President-of-America. Therefore as we trudst the tidal rhythms of v5 we reciprocate by donning daily our metaphorical badge and gun strapped-to-the-waist, and determine to harvest Enough from the abundant vines. (Just as the manna-eaters did). And in believing in this future abundance. Here's to best promises, to the now and not yet, to our great responsibility, and to the confusions and conflict between divine calling and romantic lusts.