I don’t usually quote a scripture to start an article. It seems to some if a scripture is quoted it adds authenticity to what follows. That may or may not be true.
In Amos 7:12 it says: “Then Amaziah said to Amos, ‘Get out you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there.’”
It seems Amos was sticking his nose where some folks felt it didn’t belong. Jesus did that. During the last three years of his life, every time he entered Jerusalem for Passover, he was seen by the religious leaders as someone who should go back to Galilee and preach there. Why? Because he was being seen more and more as a potential Messiah.
Before I journey into the land of imagination, I need to point out that not only does Amaziah tell Amos to go back where he came from, but he accuses him of doing it for money. “Earn your bread there…”
Imagine the elders and the chief priests in Jerusalem getting together as Passover approaches. “The Nazarene is coming again this year. My friend in Galilee sent word that he and his followers are gaining in number. There is talk that he will make his move against the Romans this year.”
“What makes anyone in their right mind believe a divided kingdom such as ours can defeat the whole Roman world?”
“The scriptures say the Lord will give the anointed one the victory. He can call down heavenly angels.’”
“You mean like when the Maccabees’s drove out the Seleucids?”
“Well, you have to admit they changed things. They reestablished our religion back to as close to its original form as possible.”
“Right. So what’s the problem? The Romans may own the world, but they leave us alone as long as we pay the taxes and keep the peace.”
“The key word there is peace. If the Romans get wind of a possible revolution they will be on us like flies on a carcass. That’s why we need to do something if he comes to town and stirs up trouble.”
“I heard he snuck into town last Passover. What was that about?”
He could have been casing the place in order to decide on a plan of attack. We know he stays in Galilee the rest of the time.”
“It’s always someone from Galilee. Why doesn’t this Jesus fellow stay in Galilee? Why stick his nose in our business? We are the religious leaders”
“Well, he is seen as a faithful Jew and a rabbi as well. Coming to the temple for Passover is a sign of his devotion to God.”
“Not everyone who comes to Passover is devout. Look at your brother!”
“Let’s not get personal! We could talk about your daughter’s divorce. Our problem is the people. They have either seen him say and do things that are Messianic, or they have heard the rumors about what he appears to have done. They may force him to become a Messiah.”
One of the scholar/scribes piped up with a disturbing bit of history. “He is also called a prophet. Remember Amos? He tried to tell the king reforms needed to be put in place and Amaziah, the high priest told him to go back home and keep his nose out of their business. Do we want to be guilty of killing a prophet of God?”
“Anybody can say they are a prophet! And, by the way, when did anybody ever listen to a prophet? Read Amos again.”
“But what if they had listened to him? Wouldn’t things have been better?”
“We’ll never know. What we do know is we can’t beat Rome, even if we wanted to, and God never sent angels to help in any of the past wars.”
“So, what’s our plan. What if he comes in quietly, as he has in the past?”
“Even when he comes in quietly, when the people hear he is in town, it gets pretty noisy. All we can do is see what happens. If he stirs up any trouble we’ll have to take action.”
“What do you think would happen if we got the Romans to see him as a danger to the peace? Maybe they would crucify him for us.”
“I would rather sit down and talk with him and see what his plans are. If he’s planning a revolt, maybe we could convince him to stay in Galilee. If he starts a revolt there, we can keep our hands clean.”
I’ve taken you on this little imaginary journey to ask a question: How many times in history has a person, or persons, been told to keep their nose out of something and go back where they came from, who actually became the catalyst for meaningful change?
Looking at the life of Paul, how many times was he seen as a troublemaker by the Jews when he preached to the Gentiles?
How many of the great religious reformers were imprisoned or killed because they stuck their nose in where people said it didn’t belong.? The list is as long as history.
Are there people in every situation who have no agenda for good, but are simply trouble makers? Of course. On the other hand, think how many times in history it was the so-called trouble makers who stuck their nose in where they were told it didn’t belong, who changed the history of religion and human rights. You can almost be sure when you hear someone say, “Everything would be fine if he (or she) would just keep their nose out of it” that the issue is something which needs attention, and that it will take as many “nose stickers” as possible to resolve it in a meaningful way. .
Like Amaziah, the priest in Amos’ time, and those who saw Jesus as a threat, too often we Christians do not look like Amos, Jesus, Paul and the others. We look like the ones who saw them as intruders. You never can tell when a prophet of God may stick their nose in where it does belong.
CONCERNS: Jim Hunter was admitted to Roanoke Memorial on Monday. He had an episode similar to a mild stroke. He has recovered well from that, but had surgery on his foot on Thursday. Still on the concerns list are Debbie McRoy’s sister-in law, Ellen Tidwell, and Debbie and Buster’s daughter-in law, Deana. Her cancer has been in remission, but is a very aggressive kind. Bill Albert’s son, David, Leena Bolin’s aunt, Lee Nicklas, Sue Huels, Sandra Anderson, Gil Richardson, Stephanie Ridney, Marge Greenwood, Jenni Cullum and Tim Elder. T.J. Hall is having health issues and will see another doctor soon. Both of the Phlegars have been under the weather since returning from their trip.
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 18-23
Monday: Matthew 18:10-20
Tuesday: Romans 14:1-18
Wednesday: II Thess. 3:1-16
Thursday: Genesis 45:4-28
Friday: Mark 10:17-31
Saturday Psalm 105:1-45
OUR DAILY BREAD: MAY 25-30
Monday: John 17:1-26
Tuesday: Revelation 19:1-16
Wednesday: Luke 16:19-31
Thursday: Matthew 19:16-30
Friday: I Corinthians 10:1-13
Saturday: Psalm 106:1-48
This year we have several levels of persons achieving graduate degrees. For some of them, these are steps along the way to possible other degrees. From Cave Spring High School is Garrett Lee Williams . Melisha Scruggs became a Certified Nursing Assistant. Laura Abbot (Branch) Hogan received an Associate of Arts Degree from Virginia Western. Stephanie Dixon received a Nursing Degree from the Jefferson Collage of Health Sciences.
We want to do our best to honor all these graduates at an upcoming date when they can all attend. As soon as it can be set we will announce it via the Sunday handout and email. It will be on a Sunday evening.
Today (May 17) is Super Sunday. These fellowship meals bring us together in ways our busy world makes harder and harder. Plan to stay and enjoy the fellowship.
STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING
The steering committee will meet in the library after the Super Sunday meal.
They will be looking at some ideas for improvements in areas of our worship together, such as reconditioning the baptistry.
One of the things the steering committee will discuss are possible dates for us to do trimming and brush clearing above the handicapped parking lot. That area has needed attention for a long time. Our hard work has made the annex yard look much better.
The shrubs in front and around the building also need attention. There is also a little bit of inside things to be done. A cabinet needs to be hung above the toilet in the upstairs restroom, and there is some work to be done on a pew or two.. This can be done in stages, but we need to get started.
Thanks to Holly Wagner, Jack Thompson and Mary Willa Foy for preparing the Sunday evening meal at the Ronald McDonald House.