Advent with the Earth: Day 4 (Dec. 6)

Have you been to a waterfall?

Abundance, Not Scarcity

Amos 5:18 — 6:14

“I hate, I despise your festivals,
and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.
Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and your 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 water
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”
– Amos 5:21 – 24, NRSVUE

Have you been to a waterfall?

“Wonders of the world” can feel like an understatement. Water hurls, leaps, drums, and shimmers. Rainbows hover in mists, and surrounding air cools. Large or small, high or low, the steady flow is powerful and mesmerizing.

In this passage, Amos compares justice to moving water. The paraphrase of verse 24 in The Message says, “I want justice— oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it.” What this paraphrase brings to light is a call to practice justice in abundance, with abandon rather than frugality. Waterfalls, streams, oceans, and rivers all offer wondrous imagery of abundant justice. For us, these images mean even more when waters today need abundant justice.

What if people sought abundant climate justice instead of a bare minimum?

Get the “Advent with the Earth” Devotional PDF

References and Credits

Eugene Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (NavPress Publishing Group, 2002).

Opening scripture quotation is from the New Revised Standard Version updated edition of the Bible

Image of Niagara Falls is by Vince Veras on the Unsplash website