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Scripture Amos 6: 1, 3-7 (NIV)
6 1.Woe to you(A) who are complacent(B) in Zion,
    and to you who feel secure(C) on Mount Samaria,(D)
you notable men of the foremost nation,
    to whom the people of Israel come!
4. You lie on beds adorned with ivory
    and lounge on your couches.(A)
You dine on choice lambs
    and fattened calves.(B)
You strum away on your harps(C) like David
    and improvise on musical instruments.(D)
You drink wine(E) by the bowlful
    and use the finest lotions,
    but you do not grieve(F) over the ruin of Joseph.(G)
Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile;(H)
    your feasting and lounging will end.
In a recent news story about wages in America a
reporter asked some one if the minimum wage
should be increased to $15.00 an hour, which
translates to about $31,200 per year for a family
of four.  The respondent said no, that would ruin
the economy.  Later I learned the respondent was
single and makes $30,000 a month--or $360,000
per year.  This kind of thinking is a clear indication
that the practices of the wealthy and even the
middle class are at the expense of the poor.
     Oppressing the poor is a violation of God's
intention for creation, and the injustice must be
addressed.  Exploiting the poor is not just in wages.
 It extends to the us of their land, the slave labor of
women and children, and any abuses of or harm
done to the natural environment.  "alas for those who
lie on beds of ivory and lounge on their couches ....
but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph!"(vv.4,6). 
How am I contributing to the exploitation of the poor
in the expense of my own lifestyle?
Lord I want to advocate and stand with sisters and
brothers who deserve living wages.  Help me to keep. 
Help me to keep my focus on people, not profit.  
(Covenant Home Altar Velda R. Love author)

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