Posts Tagged ‘church’


January 23, 2017



What’s on your A list?

July 20, 2010

A friend of mine is working towards a joint master’s degree from Duke University’s School of the Environment and Divinity School. It’s exciting to hear about her intention to combine the two fields of study for the good of the planet. Our conversations about all of the theology she is learning are incredibly enlightening and fun. They confirm my desire to work for social justice driven by an ever-unfolding understanding of the responsibility I’ve taken on by being a child of God. She recommended to me – a Bible neophyte – that I read the Old Testament’s Book of Amos for a good dose of social justice.

So I added “Read Amos” to my newly organized to-do list for the weekend. Last week I took a workshop on planning, focus and prioritization, an experience I hope will make me more “efficient and effective” (or at least punctual!) Particularly now that I have a super cute, salmon-pink planner making it all the more fun to get organized! One tip offered was to rank the importance and urgency of daily tasks with an A, B or C. I ranked reading Amos a B since “Pay Bills” was a bit more urgent, if not more important.
I wanted to read Amos without looking at the footnotes to see what I could absorb on my own. Luckily, it was pretty easy to get the gist of the following admonition from the Lord:

“I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:21-24)
You might recognize that last line from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. I yearn to hear more of its kind in church, to inspire and embolden us to follow his and others’ examples.

I admit though that I was feeling a bit anti-church this morning after reading about the Vatican’s including the ordination of women in the same “grave delict” category as the sexual abuse of children. If that kind of thinking is Christianity, what am I doing getting dressed up to go be a part of it? I then reminded myself that my church has two ordained women priests! So off I went and asked God to please let me hear something I need to get past my doubt.
I walk in and what’s being read aloud? Amos! Now, I don’t believe I’ve ever heard Amos in church. Granted, I’m usually late so I well could have missed it! I couldn’t help but feel that God had asked them to read it just for me, as a way to say, “Yes, you are meant to be here today.”

Adding to the list of grace-filled coincidences of the morning was priest Randy Hollerith’s sermon. In it, he noted how some people rank their to-do lists as A, B or C priorities. Hey! I just learned that little organizational trick in my training! Randy closed by saying, “The demand for justice is God’s ‘A’ priority.”

I was glad to be reminded of what needs to be at the top of my to-do list Monday morning. 
What’s on yours?