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Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”

Are we answering machines or messengers as Christians?

As loyal followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we start our week off the right way. We spend time in church to give God the praise and worship He desires and so deserves from us. We hear the word proclaimed and preached. We receive the Lord’s forgiveness through His Church, our community. We are fed, nourished with the Bread of Life and drink from the Cup of Salvation.

If we are answering machines we take in all that is given. We can even repeat much of it back, if someone pushes the play button. We do the same thing over and over and loyally sit through and retain these messages.

Messengers are different. They deliver. They not only deliver, but also are personally changed by the process. Think of a messenger or courier.

  • The delivering of the message places demands on them. There is urgency to their work. The message cannot wait, cannot be late. The message must be securely delivered – true to its source.
  • The messenger’s task is physical. They have to get where they are going. They are strengthened by the process.
  • Messengers may be specialists in delivering certain types of content.
  • The messenger’s delivery of the message is distinctive. The messenger’s experience of the message adds to the delivery, in certain ways becomes part of the message.

Social corruption and the oppression of the poor and helpless and worship of pagan deities were prevalent in Israel and Amos was called to be a messenger. The head priest Amaziah, who should have been the messenger became less than even an answering machine.

Our task is to determine whether we will act mechanically as God’s answering machines – faithful of course – or whether we will be His messengers.

As Jesus sent His apostles, so He sends us. He sends us with power and authority. Let us take up the urgency of the mission and deliver Jesus’ message – in opposition to the changing wants and desires of the world. Let us grow in strength by the delivery of His message. As we are given gifts, let us use our specialized talents to deliver His message. Let us convey God’s message witnessing to the joy, hope, and comfort it has given us.