Read Amos 9:11-15.
What does it mean to restore, to repair breaches, to raise up ruins?
There are many stories of restoration in the Bible. Here in Amos, the prophet has focused on social justice and the power of God as he walks us through the judgment and punishment of Israel, and concludes here with images of the restoration of David’s kingdom. How lovely to think about rebuilt cities and thriving vineyards and gardens!
Here’s the thing: the kingdom of Israel as Amos discussed it has yet to be restored — at least in the ways of the “days of old.” People are living in that part of the world today, with cities inhabited and gardens growing. But it’s not quite what Amos envisioned. Things change. As well they should! Amos has spent this whole book calling for justice. Let it roll down like waters! And if we want to seek justice, we can’t go back to the way things were.
So how do we rebuild and restore our world with an eye toward justice for our all of our neighbors? The end of this passage tells us to be planted in our land and never plucked up. In other words: grounded. We have a long way to go until all of creation is repaired. As we work toward that restoration, let us remember to be aware of our surroundings, and strive toward stability within our place. The restoration starts with us, where we are.
Eternal God, help us feel grounded where we are as we work for the restoration of your kingdom. Guide us as we repair and rebuild, that we might raise up all of creation. Amen.
Rev. Colleen Earp
Director of Programs