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Christ as the measure of all things

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If Amos had been a good boy and known his place, he would never have become the first of the Old Testament prophets. You see, back in his native, 8th-century BC Judah, prophecy was a family business, and if you weren't born into it, you were expected to keep your mouth shut. And true to form, it seems his own people weren't that interested in what he had to say, because he ended up prophesying not in his native Judah, but heading up north to the wealthier Kingdom of Israel – which should, I hope, ring a bell, if we remember last week's Gospel: a prophet is without honour in his homeland. Jesus made no headway in Galilee and so sent out his Apostles elsewhere. And it's no coincidence, because this week's texts continue with last week's theme, which is mission.

Amos was a new kind of prophet, a missionary prophet, an outsider to the establishment and even to the nation he prophesied in, and that's why his story was interesting enough to be recorded as the ea…