The Priest

Another disposable little monologue, this time based on the story of the encounter between Amaziah and Amos in Amos 7: 10-15. If I was liturgically correct I should have posted this a month ago to fit the lectionary reading for 12th July, but strangely enough living in this part of the world, my mind was on other things...

The cheek of him. Coming up here from Tekoa and telling us how to worship God...

I was just in the middle of the midday sacrifice, up to my elbows in entrails, when one of my helpers nudged me and said "Hey, Amaziah, what's happening here..."

One of the crowd had walked up the steps, and turned his back on us. How dare he, I thought. He began to speak to the crowd and then it was clear from his accent that he wasn't a local. In fact he was a southerner, a Judean. You don't see too many of them in Bethel these days. Not too popular with the locals. But the crowd listened to this one. At first it sounded quite good. He was telling about God's judgement on all of Israel's enemies. With each condemnation the crowd cheered; the Syrians, the Philistines, the Phoenecians, the Ammonites, the Moabites. He stuck the boot into them all. He even condemned his own people, the Judeans. That got the loudest cheer of all! But then he turned on us! The Israelites. He didn't just have a cheek, he must have been insane. It's a wonder the crowd didn't tear him apart.

He called our womenfolk "cows of Bashan..." He said we were immoral and unjust, he said we were godless idolators... With me standing right behind him... Right in the middle of our temple he said that in coming to our temples we were only adding to our sins. He said we would meet the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah... That we would be dragged off into exile. Its him that should have been dragged off to the lunatic asylum...

Finally I could take no more... "How dare you speak against God's people in the Temple of cod. I have a good mind to report you to the king! Who are you anyway?"

"Amos, from Tekoa in the deserts of Judea." He said.

"Well, Mr. Amos, what authority have you to say this?" I asked him... "Who made you a prophet?"

And he answers, cool as a cucumber, "I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet. I'm only a shepherd and a tender of fig trees. But the Lord God almighty spoke to me and told me to go and speak to my people..."

The cheek of him. Him a shepherd claiming to have a hotline to God. God hasn't spoken to me in years and I'm a priest! What would the world be like if everyone had direct access to God without priests or sacrifices... it would be anarchy! So I says to him, well you can go and speak to God in your own country... Southerners coming up here and telling us how we should worship God... Just you take the first camel train back to Tekoa...


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