Thursday, December 12, 2013

DECEMBER 12. "HE KNOWS IF YOU'VE BEEN GOOD OR BAD.."

" I will keep my eye on them, for harm and not for good" the Prophet Amos declares, of The Lord.

This is a complete reversal of what Jeremiah the Prophet declares, of The Lord, in Jeremiah 29:11 " for I know the thoughts I have towards you, plans to prosper you and not harm you..."
A complete reversal. Perhaps the song we sing this time of year has some merrit after all...."He knows if you've been good or bad so be good for goodness sake".  The only correction I might make is that it's not omniscient Santa that knows if you've been bad or good, but The Lord. The same God in Jeremiah that is going to make sure good comes their way, is now going to make sure "harm" comes their way.  While many religious people count on God's love to cover all their transgressions through out the year, they fail to realize that, although God's Love is unconditional, his blessings are not! While we cannot merrit his love, we can and do merrit blessing. Has your year been blessed, then it is not by chance or  "goodness sake" (whatever that is).  Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that God's unconditional love means God's unconditional blessing.  God knows if you've been "notty or nice" and He will bless you accordingly.  In our reading today I was caught off guard by this quote from Amos that was the complete opposite of one of my favorite SCRIPTURES in Jeremiah. It is the same Lord and the same Israelites, yet, what is perhaps not the same is their conduct and behavior.  The Lord says, "don't you dare quote Jeremiah 29:11 to them, are you kidding me! I want you to say the opposite to them,  My plans towards them are not good, but rather to harm them".
     Have we been "notty or nice", if we are going to sing the songs than let us reflect on our year. Have we been harsh, mean and judgmental with our brothers and sisters in Christ, this year?  Have we been stingy in our giving? Have we indulged ourselves in way too much sin and excused away our offenses? If so, than the gifts may be scarce to non-existent this year, from Santa....oooops I mean The Lord.  God, not Santa, really does watch down from HEAVAN to see if we've been notty or nice, good or bad....so be good not for "goodness sake" but be good for your own sake because God is the dispenser of all Gifts and while God's Love is unconditional and we cannot merrit His love; His gifts/blessings are very conditional. And whom would you rather have prophesy over you, Jeremiah 29....or Amos 9, as we read today, you decide!