On Sunday, although we’ll read one of our Lord’s well-known parables, we’ll delve a little bit into the Old Testament, and prayerfully consider some of the words of Amos, the prophet. In chapter 5 of Amos’ book, the people of God are upbraided (by the Lord Himself!) for presuming upon His perfect ways, and for embracing “duty” rather than faith, trust, love – that is, a true relationship with Him, who had saved them and who cared for them passionately and mercifully. Rather than love Him with their whole hearts, they had sunk to the level of keeping certain laws, in order to keep Him happy, all the while flagrantly seeking the world and ignoring Him. The message invites us to consider the ways in which we might be tempted to think and behave as though our “good ways” earn His favor, or force Him to be good to us. No. That’s not it at all. The truth is that, through absolutely no effort of our own (for we are flawed, broken, sinful, hurting people), He does love us. He does call us His own. He has made a place for us in His Kingdom. He did pay the price for each of us. So we live in ways that seek the world less, and seek Him more. That seeking Him leads us to praise Him, to learn from Him and to bless in His Name. Be at peace. Our Lord loves us and we are His. See you soon!