Daily Injustices

Our first lesson for Sunday, September 19th is a revealing look at the culture of the prophet Amos’ time.  He doesn’t mince words when discussing their unjust market practices.  Scales could easily be “rigged” in favor of the seller, someone’s whole life could be ruined for owing the value of a pair of sandals, and leftover wheat husk was routinely passed off as high-quality grain.

Many of us these days are choosing to “eat local” and “shop local.”  Participation at farmers markets is way up.  Gardening is hip and canning is cool.  Churches are serving fair-trade coffee after worship and some towns even boycott when a big-box store looks to come to their towns out of concern for those who produce the items we consume.

Of course, as North American Christians, we have the freedom to choose where to shop, and many of us willingly choose the extra cost of buying locally-produced products.  For many others of us, this is not even a possibility.  And all the while we debate the pros and cons of our shopping habits, in our very own country, there are scores of malnourished and homeless people.  Still, the malls are jam-packed on Saturday afternoons, and Wal-Mart never seems to close. 

Amos raises a bigger point, also:  in the commerce we do, can we ever really escape being part of oppressing the poor?  How do we negate our injustice footprint?  Does God really care about the daily injustices done to his people?

Apparently, the answer is yes.

God of endless riches, each resource we “own” comes from your gracious hand.  Bless our choices with your riches.  Amen.