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"Let justice roll down"

October 5, 2022

Daily Scripture

Amos 5:21-24

21 I hate, I reject your festivals;
I don’t enjoy your joyous assemblies.
22 If you bring me your entirely burned offerings and gifts of food—
I won’t be pleased;
I won’t even look at your offerings of well-fed animals.
23 Take away the noise of your songs;
I won’t listen to the melody of your harps.
24 But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.


Daily Reflection & Prayer

On God’s behalf, the prophet Amos urged his people not to trust religious rituals, but to “let justice roll down like waters.” Pastor Ginger Gaines-Cirelli said, “God doesn’t say, love me with your mind alone, thinking Goddish thoughts….God doesn’t say only love me with your praisy warm feelings surrounded by…no one that challenges you to stretch yourself…. the call is to love with all we’ve got, with SOUL, with our deepest wholeness and essence and humanity…that which connects us to our neighbor.” *

  • How can you be alert for opportunities in everyday activities like your work, leisure activities, shopping and other pursuits to make choices that bring about righteousness and justice? What risks or costs might you face to make those choices? To what extent are you willing to act consistently for justice and righteousness?
  • Amos itemized God’s charges against Israel: “They have sold the innocent for silver, and those in need for a pair of sandals. They crush the head of the poor into the dust of the earth, and push the afflicted out of the way” (Amos 2:6-7). If Amos wrote today, not in 700 B.C., what issues do you think he might list for our culture? How can you be an active change agent whose words and actions move our society toward God’s ideal of justice and righteousness?

Lord Jesus, from Kansas and Missouri to Haiti, Malawi and beyond, there are hungry children and desperate people facing injustice. They are all your people—help me to care about them as much as you do. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek serves as the Director of Discipleship at Resurrection Downtown. She loves to travel and has been to 49 states, 11 countries and lived in Vancouver, Canada for grad school! When not gallivanting all over the world, she lives in Liberty with her husband, Aaron, and two sons, Owen and Porter.

I love fly fishing. As a child I learned early on that fly fishing was important to my family. I grew up in southwest Missouri with several spring-fed rivers and streams nearby. I remember going camping and seeing my dad head out to fly fish. At some point along the way, I wanted to join in. I learned that my grandma had actually been the one to teach my grandpa, my dad and my uncle, and so I became the next one in my family to learn the art of fly fishing.

When I read, “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 4:24), I can’t help but think of the rivers and waters I’ve stood along. If given enough time, these waters even carve a path in the earth and rock. When thinking of the waters of justice, we often want a quick response. A great tragedy or wrongdoing has happened, and we want justice to come just as quickly as the offense did. Sometimes though, it is a long time coming, like the passing of time in creating a river. And yet, just as the waters continue to roll down, justice will eventually come.

As I grew up and continued to fly fish, I was given a copy of A River Runs Through It from my dad. Whether you know the short story or only the movie, it ends with this final passage from Norman Maclean as he reflects upon the river he has fished his entire life…

“Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

May we be haunted by waters until justice and righteousness come more fully to the earth.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* From Pastor Cirelli’s Oct. 25, 2020 sermon at Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, D.C. Full sermon available at