Sunday, July 7, 2019

Amos 7.7-17: Plumb

I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people, God says (Amos 7:8). The plumb line, a weighted "bob" on the end of a line, hangs vertically (thanks, gravity!), providing a known vertical and, therefore, an accurate comparison for any (purportedly) vertical surface near it. A plumb line in the midst of the people will show how upright - or not - the people are. How closely are the people following God's law? How likely is it that their moral center is indeed centered, and will enable them to standd for a long time? That's what God is trying to find out.

American artist Charles White (1918-1979), born in Chicago, trained at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked for three years with the Illinois Art Project, affiliated with the Works Progress Administration. His 1964 piece, Birmingham Totem, was created in response to the bombing of Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
Charles White. Birmingham Totem. 1964. Ink and charcoal on paper. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia.
In the work a young African-American boy, his head and body covered by a blanket, sits atop a pile of rubble from the bombed church. From his right hand, a plumb line hangs down in front of the wreckage. I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people, God says.

For additional thoughts on the plumb line, see Art & Faith Matters on Facebook here.
For thoughts on Luke 10:25-37, click here.

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