One of my Old Testament professors–Dr. Boo Heflin– in seminary made Amos come to life, painting a lasting picture of him with his brilliant presentations in class. I admit that I never thought much of Amos, skipping over him on my way to other books of the Bible I thought were more interesting. It’s not that I had ranked it up there with Leviticus (although there are some interesting parts of it too), and not that I preferred Song of Solomon. It’s just that I didn’t ever read it from a preacher’s standpoint. Dr. Heflin taught Amos through the eyes of a preacher, one with amazing homiletical and rhetorical skills. The great thing about Amos, though, was how he matched his preaching gifts with his prophet’s calling. He was sensitive to God’s passion for justice in the world and he wasn’t scared to use his best preaching finger to point out who had been preventing it from rolling into the lives of the oppressed.
Even though texts in Ordinary Time don’t fit together nicely as they do in other times of the year, there seems to be cohesion this week. The 2 Samuel text for Sunday shows David giving God his best, even if someone was offended at his passion for God. Amos seems to understand the consequences of stepping on toes, as he holds nothing back in exposing everyone. The Gospel text, Mark 6:14-29 provides yet another example of one who isn’t afraid to speak truth to power. Ephesians 1:1-14 doesn’t portray a fiery preacher or energetic dancer, but provides the reasons preachers keep on doing what they’re doing.