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Friends in Christ Weekly Message
August 11, 2007

“Why this frenzy of sacrifices?”
     God's asking.
“Don't you think I've had my fill of burnt sacrifices,
     rams and plump grain-fed calves?
Don't you think I've had my fill
     of blood from bulls, lambs, and goats?
When you come before me,
     who ever gave you the idea of acting like this,
Running here and there, doing this and that -
     all this sheer commotion in the place provided for worship?

“Quit your worship charades.
     I can't stand your trivial religious games:
Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings -
     meetings, meetings, meetings - I can't stand one more!
Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!
     You've worn me out!
I'm sick of your religion, religion, religion,
     while you go right on sinning.
When you put on your next prayer-performance,
     I'll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray,
     I'll not be listening.
And do you know why? Because you've been tearing
     people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.
Go home and wash up.
     Clean up your act.
Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings
     so I don't have to look at them any longer.
Say no to wrong.
     Learn to do good.
Work for justice.
     Help the down-and-out.
Stand up for the homeless.
     Go to bat for the defenseless.”

Isaiah 1:11-17 (Message*)

We are continually tempted to engage in shows of religion rather than actually living the way God directs us. God certainly does not condemn worship, but it makes him sick when it is hypocritical and not flowing out of lives truly dedicated to living the Kingdom of God here on earth. The Lord wants us to focus on how we actually live. That, not our “religious” acts, really shows whether we love God.

Bill Samuel

* The Message version ©2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

©2007 Friends in Christ, Inc.

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Document last modified on Saturday, 18-Aug-2007 19:35:39 EDT