Aug. 8th, 2010

13-17″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.
Go to bat for the defenseless.

Let’s Argue This Out
18-20″Come. Sit down. Let’s argue this out.”
This is God’s Message:
“If your sins are blood-red,
they’ll be snow-white.
If they’re red like crimson,
they’ll be like wool.
If you’ll willingly obey,
you’ll feast like kings.
But if you’re willful and stubborn,
you’ll die like dogs.”
That’s right. God says so. Isaiah 1:13-20 (The Message)

Some of the lines in this could almost sound like a Worship & Music Committee meeting (though not at St. Paul’s of course).  It’s not that God doesn’t like the style of the prayers, praise, and sacrificies.  As if the style of worship mattered.  That’s not what’s going on here.  What matters to God is what how we live with our worship, how we follow that through.  Worship isn’t why we are the church. We were not makde to worship.  It is only one piece.  If it is not paired with justice, if it is not paired with caring for the weak and downtrodden.

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