On this Wednesday in the second week of Advent, we are reminded that God is concerned with justice; that God is concerned with the plight of those who are taken advantage of by the greedy who make their money dishonestly and at the expense of others. The assigned reading from the Old Testament in today Daily Office is from the prophet Amos who writes, in part:
Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land, saying, ‘When will the new moon be over so that we may sell grain; and the sabbath, so that we may offer wheat for sale? We will make the ephah small and the shekel great, and practice deceit with false balances, buying the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and selling the sweepings of the wheat.’ Amos 8:4-6.
The shekel was not originally a coin, but a weight used in a balance. The ephah was a unit of dry measure that was equal to about a bushel. So the dealers would cheat the customer by using the measure to sell the grain that was too small and the measure they received in payment too heavy, so the customer got less and paid more. It is the old “thumb on the scale” trick. This practice was rampant in Amos’ day, and he warned those who were doing it that God was not pleased with taking advantage of people in that manner.
God is a God of justice. God is a God of generosity. God speaks of a good measure, pressed down and running over. As we prepare for the feast of the Incarnation, we should remember that just as God is just and generous, God calls us to be just and generous.
Let us pray: Lord God, you created all that is out of love. Give us the grace through the Holy Spirit to be more and more like Jesus in our daily lives and interactions with one another that we will be just and generous. Amen.
Seaside Seniors Christmas Party, Thursday, 17 December starting at 11 AM.
Christmas Eve Eucharist, 4 PM on the 24 December.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Bishop Curry.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550