We have a wonderful woman teaching us the background and meaning of our Sunday readings. The reading and study of Amos impressed me this time. Amos took care of sheep and was the keeper of the sycamore when God called him to become a prophet. He is considered to be the earliest of “writing” prophets. God was disappointed with the Israelites and sent Amos as His prophet. God was sadden by His people because they had become greedy! Amos had a difficult task because everyone was prosperous and didn’t care to listen to him. He was also bold because he was not a professional prophet. He was an unknown in the temple. The professional prophets were attached to the king and his court, and religion was all for political gain. The religious authorities of that time didn’t want Amos around because he threatened their power.
In the Gospel reading of Mark we see Jesus sends the disciples out, much like God sent Amos. We know the background of the disciples and they certainly were not professional prophets. They trusted Jesus by showing they were not afraid. Each left with one tunic to be as beggars relying on the hospitality of others. They were to shake the dust off of their sandals when a town rejected their message. One living in these times did not want pagan soil on their shoes.
I am reminded of the phrase we sing and hear, “Be not afraid, I go before you always.” God promises if we but trust, He will provide. And when we come to that place where we are rejected because of God, when it is evident that harden hearts won’t soften for Him, we are directed to shake the rejection from our feet and travel on unafraid in His Way!
Lord, help us to know when to stay and when to walk away. Give us courage to journey in your light. Amen