God made us to live purposefully in communion with him, and so when human creatures are out of communion with God, they live with an anxious, aimless urgency which is destructive to them.
This is a fundamental truth of human existence and a reality of human experience that I know well personally. It seems that Amos knows it, too. God lays it out through the prophet in Amos 8:11 & 12. I took Amos’ references to the famine of hearing the word of the Lord for my title to this two sermon series. But it was his richly evocative description of the lives of the people living under this famine of the word that most captured my imagination. In 8:12 Amos writes, “People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.” Notice the weirdly asymmetrical wandering — not “north to south” but rather “north to east.” They are disoriented, confused, urgent but unsure of what the nature of this urgency is.
I know people whose lives are like that. My own life has been like at times more frequent than I am comfortable admitting. It isn’t a natural state of affairs for human beings. We are designed for a different circumstance of life.
And there is a solution to this problem. God has provided it in Jesus. Those of us who know Jesus have the word of life in us. And all around us, our neighbors, friends, brothers, daughters, parents may be “stumbling from sea to sea, wandering from north to east” in search of a nameless relief. And we have it. What will we do?
© 2014 Gary A. Chorpenning; all rights reserved.