Rabbi Harold Kushner recalls a dialogue with students in which he describes his grandfather, a house painter, who eked out a modest living.
"But in addition," Kushner writes, "my grandfather had a secret identity. He was one of God's agents on earth, maintaining literacy in a sea of ignorance and kindness in a world of cruelty. His days, his every act became important because he believed it mattered to God what he ate, how he earned and spent money, how he respected his wife and treated his children. The sense of having to live up to God's standards redeemed my grandfather's life from anonymity and insignificance, and it can do the same for each of us."
It's a fascinating idea, that in taking our identity from God and adopting God's purposes for human life and society, we are rescued from insignificance.
scripture passage this week
, I think the people missed that idea. They had somehow disconnected religious practice with social implication, and Amos didn't mince words in his reminder that the two belong together.
We'll look at it closely this weekend. I'm going to do a bit of a deeper theological dive than normal, and invite you to come ready to think, to be challenged, and then sent equipped to live faithfully.
Come, and bring a friend.