Amos’s “alas” could have been written for our time when bad loans repackaged in new paper brought the mortgage industry house of cards crashing down and the rest of the economy with it. Those most responsible got a “get out jail free” card and while the politicians pointed fingers at each other no one grieved over the ruin of “Joseph” except the “Josephs” who lost jobs and homes and for many any hope of finding gainful employment again. In the land of endless distraction, we can be like those lounging on couches listening to idle music oblivious to the fact that shuttered storefronts represent real people who longue not in luxury but for lack of a job and whose only song is a lament. The word of Amos was a warning that went unheeded by those at ease in Zion secure on Mount Samaria until the Assyrians came knocking on the door with an eviction notice. Whether you think we have fully recovered from the great recession or not the way we heed this warning of Amos is to grieve with and for those who still suffer loss of home and livelihood while at the same time acting on the word of James 2:14-17 by providing comfort, support and shelter as we are able. In so doing we anticipate the day when “alas” will be “alleluia” and we will find our place in the many rooms of the Father’s house.