Wednesday 27 January

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Almighty God,
whose Son revealed in signs and miracles
the wonder of your saving presence:
renew your people with your heavenly grace,
and in all our weakness
sustain us by your mighty power;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Amos 7
This is what the Lord God showed me: he was forming locusts at the time the latter growth began to sprout (it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings).    When they had finished eating the grass of the land, I said,
‘O Lord God, forgive, I beg you!
   How can Jacob stand?
   He is so small!’
    The Lord relented concerning this;
   ‘It shall not be,’ said the Lord.
    This is what the Lord God showed me: the Lord God was calling for a shower of fire, and it devoured the great deep and was eating up the land.    Then I said,
‘O Lord God, cease, I beg you!
   How can Jacob stand?
   He is so small!’
    The Lord relented concerning this;
   ‘This also shall not be,’ said the Lord God.
    This is what he showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb-line, with a plumb-line in his hand.    And the Lord said to me, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘A plumb-line.’ Then the Lord said,
‘See, I am setting a plumb-line
   in the midst of my people Israel;
   I will never again pass them by;
    the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
   and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
   and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.’
       Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, ‘Amos has conspired against you in the very centre of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words.       For thus Amos has said,
“Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
   and Israel must go into exile
   away from his land.” ’
      And Amaziah said to Amos, ‘O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there;       but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom.’
       Then Amos answered Amaziah, ‘I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycomore trees,       and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”
       ‘Now therefore hear the word of the Lord.
You say, “Do not prophesy against Israel,
   and do not preach against the house of Isaac.”
       Therefore, thus says the Lord:
“Your wife shall become a prostitute in the city,
   and your sons and your daughters shall fall by the sword,
   and your land shall be parcelled out by line;
you yourself shall die in an unclean land,
   and Israel shall surely go into exile away from its land.” ’

Psalm 45
    My heart is astir with gracious words;
   as I make my song for the king,
      my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
    You are the fairest of men;
   full of grace are your lips,
      for God has blest you for ever.
    Gird your sword upon your thigh, O mighty one;
   gird on your majesty and glory.
    Ride on and prosper in the cause of truth
   and for the sake of humility and righteousness.
    Your right hand will teach you terrible things;
   your arrows will be sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies,
      so that peoples fall beneath you.
    Your throne is God’s throne, for ever;
   the sceptre of your kingdom is the sceptre of righteousness.
    You love righteousness and hate iniquity;
   therefore God, your God, has anointed you
      with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
    All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes and cassia;
   from ivory palaces the music of strings makes you glad.
    Kings’ daughters are among your honourable women;
   at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
      Hear, O daughter; consider and incline your ear;
   forget your own people and your father’s house.
      So shall the king have pleasure in your beauty;
   he is your lord, so do him honour.
      The people of Tyre shall bring you gifts;
   the richest of the people shall seek your favour.
      The king’s daughter is all glorious within;
   her clothing is embroidered cloth of gold.
      She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework;
   after her the virgins that are her companions.
      With joy and gladness shall they be brought
   and enter into the palace of the king.
      ‘Instead of your fathers you shall have sons,
   whom you shall make princes over all the land.
      ‘I will make your name to be remembered through all generations;
   therefore shall the peoples praise you for ever and ever.’

A summary of Amos as video