You can’t love God without loving people
A retelling from Amos 1:1-2; 5:14-15, 21-24; John 7:37-38;
The book of Amos is powerful. The tension it sets up ought to make anyone who has the ability to give cringe. Times seemed to be going pretty well as far as Israel was concerned. They were fruitful and they were plentiful but despite all of the abundance in the land people were still suffering. People were still being forgotten about. People were still being ignored.
This isn’t behavior that’s unique to Israel. It’s pretty common in America too. We go to church, we sing, we offer our surfaces, and we spend an unreasonable amount of time on business meetings that sometimes call attention to the hurting around us. Most of the time they call attention to local congregational problems.
One thing is absolutely clear about this story. You cannot fully love God without loving people. This is what Jesus means when he says he desires mercy, not sacrifice.
If we our lifting our voices up in praise on a Sunday we need to be speaking up for those who have no voice come Monday.
If we are giving gifts to God on Sunday we need to be giving gifts to those in need come Tuesday.
If we are coming together around the Lord’s supper on Sunday we need to equally be feeding those who have no food come Wednesday.
Our worship and love for God is detestable if it doesn’t lead us to caring for those who desperately need our help. This is a part of our Gospel mission, bringing good news to the “least of these.”