Tony Baker Meditation

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Psalm: 38; Amos 8:1-14; Matthew 23:1-12


Nothing says "state of emergency" like a basket of summer fruit. My grandparents to this day grow or raise most of what they eat, and all the June hours weeding and watering and tending may come to nothing if August rolls around and the produce is still lying in a bushel basket in the sun.  Call the neighbors:  it's time to start making pies.  What God showed Amos: all the Passovers and Bar Mitvahs will come to nothing if my people continue to make small things (sweepings of wheat, grain sales, a pair of sandals) great and great things (the poor, Sabbath, honesty) small. What God shows us:  all the rich harvest of life in Christ will come to nothing if we give ourselves heart and soul to the praxis of a graceless world.  The fruits will come--the gospel is an unquenchably fruit-bearing sort of tree--but they will rot before they get inside us.  A day of reckoning is coming, when all such useless fruit will be thrown out in the compost heap. It's time to start canning and making pies with reckless abandon.

God of abundance, grant that we might receive the rich blessings from your hand, that they make of us a graceful, generous people.  In the name of the Christ who came offering abundant life, Amen.

Anthony Baker, PhD
Clinton S. Quinn Associate Professor
of Systematic Theology

Seminary of the Southwest