Today, we are in the prophet amos. You can read the passage here: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=amos+7%3A7-11&version=NIV.
Now this week's passages don't scream advent they don't scream christmas season to us.They don't tell us stories of christmas trees with lights on them or pretty angels with wings. They're darker visions of the future God has for God's people in the land of Israel.
Amos is no different. Amos's vision in this passage is not pleasant or exciting or a joyful one and yet it acknowledges there is a truth here. Advent isn't necessarily about joy. Christmas isn't about a pure light or a pure brightness. It is not all peace and love and hope and joy as much as i wish it were.
There's a truth and a reality to our world. It's broken and the brokenness of the world doesn't stop just because it's Christmas time. We don't become better people during advent. We don't live in a different society than we did two weeks ago. We don't live in a different world than we did two weeks ago.
We're reminded of our reality constantly, so when we put into contrast our expectations for the season and what the reality of the season is, it can create all sorts of tension. It can create all sorts of difficulty for us. The reality is advent is just as messy as every other time every other moment of the year.
Believe it or not, this is the good news.
Amos was a prophet; a farmer. He wasn't trained, he wasn't called to anything from childhood. He wasn't part of the priestly line. He was a farmer and he was sent with a message of justice and righteousness and truth.
People didn't like it
People didn't want to hear the truth. It was difficult. It was challenging. This message was hard to hear.
When we paper over our feelings of negativity, when we paper over our hurt and we pretend like it doesn't exist because it's christmas or our birthday or we're supposed to be feeling something different, that's denying the reality of what is going on. It prevents us from experiencing the grace God has for us.
When we try to block it out and pretend the bad doesn't exist or we shade it and try to make it happier than it is then we miss out on God's grace.
God's true message of the season is I come at night with a light. I come in the midst of this chaos. I come in the midst of this truth that's hard to hear and I am with you. My hand is there and you may be a farmer or you may be a state senator; you may be a mother or you may be a doctor or whatever you are - the truth of your life is true.
Life is chaos sometimes and it's hard times and it's hard words sometimes, but i'm the light in the midst of that mess. So don't ignore it. Don't pretend it doesn't happen. Find the truth in empty space and find God in the middle of it all.