By Sidney Tompkins
Pasadena Community Church, St. Petersburg, FL
First, read Amos 5:24
Amos was an Old Testament prophet who lived and worked about 750 years before Jesus was even born! He was wise and listened to the word of God, and his job was to share God’s message with the people around him. You see, God was very concerned about how the people were treating each other, so God called on Amos to straighten them out. At that time, the people were making regular sacrifices to God because they thought God wanted them to. Instead, what God really wanted was for them to be kind to each other and to treat each other fairly.
The prophet Amos was mostly talking about how people who were rich didn’t treat the people who were poor very well. They weren’t friends with each other and didn’t go to the same parties. Much of the time, the people who were poor didn’t even have enough to eat or good places to sleep.
On August 28, 1963, a famous man named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. repeated the prophet Amos’ message to more than 250,000 people in Washington D.C. from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. Just like Amos, Dr. King was reminding the people and our country about the importance of treating all people fairly and with kindness and respect. He reminded us that we are all equal in God’s eyes, and should be treated that way. You see, that was a time in our American history when people were treated differently just because of the color of their skin.
When I was a little girl, I remember my parents telling me that it’s important to treat my friends and everybody else the way I want to be treated, regardless of whether they are rich or poor, or whether they have the same skin color as mine. Jesus teaches us that we are all equal and that when we treat each other differently, we are not honoring him. We are all God’s children!
Prayer: Dear God, help us to remember how much you love each and every one of us. Help us to love everybody too. Help us to treat each other the way we want to be treated—with kindness and fairness. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
- The prophet Amos compares justice and righteousness to a river—a stream that flows on forever. So what is he saying about how important justice and righteousness are to God?
- Why would Dr. King use the same words that the prophet Amos did hundreds of years later?
- Think about a time when you saw someone who wasn’t treated right. What happened? What did you do? What did you want to do?