Posted by: Pauline | July 14, 2013

Scriptures for Sunday July 21

Amos 8:1-12

God has shown great patience with His people, but He tells Amos to announce that the time of His forbearance is over. The image of a basket of ripe fruit – one that most of us would see as having pleasant associations – is used instead as a reminder that the time is “ripe” for judgment.

These people apparently have been outwardly religious, observing the Sabbath and other holy days, but inwardly they are eager to be done with religious observances and get back to the business of making money. To make more money, they use a variety of dishonest business practices, heedless of the people who are impoverished by their actions.

The judgment will cause great mourning, and people will look for some kind of message from God, perhaps to hear how to get out of the mess they got themselves into. But – perhaps the worst aspect of the judgment – at that time there will be no word from God for them.

Colossians 1:15-28

Our world is filled with images – in print, on the internet, in photo albums. Even in the mirror we see a “mirror image” of ourselves. But how do you capture an image of what cannot be seen?

God forbids people from making images of Him, but He provided for us one true image of Himself in Jesus Christ. In Jesus, a human being with a birth like ours and a body like ours, God had “all His fullness dwell.”

We had ourselves been made in the image of God, but that image was distorted by sin. That sin made us enemies of God, but in Christ God made a way to reconcile us to Himself, making peace by the blood Jesus shed for us.

Being reconciled to God means not only that our sins are forgiven, but that we are ourselves made holy. Which of us would claim to be “blameless and above reproach” before God? Yet in Christ, that is how He has made us.

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