13 October 2007

Appreciating Amos

I'm in the midst of writing a sermon for my preaching class (Preaching the Hebrew Bible) that's due Monday. The text I've been assigned is the first lesson for Lectionary 15: Amos 7:7-15. I have to admit that Amos is not a book I've read or studied much until now, but I'm finding it pretty interesting.

I'm still struggling, though to fully grasp what it means to read the Old Testament through a Christological lens. It seems to me there's a subtle difference between reading Christ into the texts of the Jewish scriptures and reading them through the lens of Christ.

More importantly for me at the moment: how do we understand the message of judgment and destruction found in prophetic books like Amos in light of the event of Jesus Christ?

Perhaps I'll let you know where I end up by posting an excerpt from my sermon. In any case, I always find it challenging but also refreshing to preach exclusively from the Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible if you prefer).


Rob G. said...

The event of Christ's crucifixion WAS (IS) judgment. God has judged that humanity is sinful and that this is the only way to make us understand that. Only through the redemptive power of the resurrection are we finally reconciled to God. In order to appreciate God’s grace, we must first have the understanding that Christ’s death meant something and that his taking all our sins upon him was judgment AGAINST us…but our being baptized into Christ’s death is the grace FOR us. Without having the word of judgment, there is no need for grace. Without having the word of grace, there is no hope from judgment.