Friday, July 10, 2009

Amos 8:11-12

"Behold, the days are coming,"
says the Lord God,
"That I will send a famine on the land,
not a famine of bread,
nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the Lord.
They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east.
They shall run to and fro,
seeking the word of the Lord,
but shall not find it."


I have been fussing at Pastor for years about this. How can God say
1) He loves and gives and provides,
2) the Spirit comes only through the Word,
3) He will sustain us no matter what, but
4) there's the reality that sometimes people lose their pastor, or their congregation goes wacky and heterodox, or a non-Christian nation overruns a country and tries to wipe out the Christians.

Again and again, Pastor would assure that God will never leave me nor forsake me.

But it didn't make sense. Sometimes people do lose the means through which God's word comes to them, and we Lutherans keep insisting that the Spirit works only through the word.

And then, when we were studying Amos in Bible class recently, he finally said it in a way that clicked. Finally! (Sure took long enough for my brain to catch up to what he'd been saying all along.)

Just because a person loses his memory or his pastor or his congregation or his religious freedom does not mean he is therefore bereft of God's Word. As Pastor said: Do not underestimate the power of the Word that has been previously implanted; it will sustain and nourish the Christian in the darkest hours. The Lord who has baptized you and fed you and absolved you and tenderly cared for you will not abandon you, even if it appears that a famine of the Word is upon us. He will bring to mind the Word which He Himself gave you before and which He will use to sustain you in the famine. And that Word will shine brighter then than you can imagine now.

1 comment:

  1. A comforting reminder, for sure! Especially when you consider things like Alzheimer's.