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A New Standard

Amos 7:7-9

I love gadgets. Always have, always will. You can imagine my excitement when I saw the newest laser level on sale. Having just moved, I had boxes of pictures and other wall hangings just waiting to be unpacked and hung. Surely this tool would do the trick! Minutes later, I was at home shooting the little red beam on every flat surface of my house. It even curved around corners if you tilted it at just the proper angle. An hour passed and I concluded that everything in my house was level. Content with my exploration, I put the level on a shelf – where it still sits today. The boxes of pictures and wall hangings remain unhung.

In the reading from Amos, God talks about a different type of leveling tool – a plumb line. The plumb line, a piece of string with a metal weight, is hung to see if vertical lines (such as walls) are straight or “plumb. ” God says that a time is coming when all people will be measured according to God’s standards. God is no longer content with the way the people have begun to buckle and sway over time.

Just like the people to whom Amos spoke, we now must be ready. It is time to begin to examine ourselves by a new standard – the standard that God has established through scripture and Christian tradition. God won’t leave the standards on a shelf to collect dust. God is faithful; this is one project that God will see to completion. Are you plumb?

Suggestion for Reflection:

As you begin to think of a new standard this week, list on paper the things the world values as tools that measure worth. Now, in another column, make a list of things God values. How do you measure up?

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