Disturbed by God's Word#
I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. (Amos 5:21-24)
This is a disturbing text given that the same God who inspired these words also invites, even commands us, to meet together to praise Him. It seems as if the mere fact of meeting together is not the point.
What is being attacked here is the failure on the part of those meeting together to practise what they preach, to live out in actions what they declare in words.
People in Amos’ time put a lot of emphasis on religious rituals, this poor habit continues to this day around the world. They didn’t put equal emphasis on things like justice and mercy in their relationships and wider society.
All our hand-waving enthusiasm, all our earnest Bible teaching, all our fervent prayer mean nothing unless we reflect the character of God day by day.
God is even offended by rituals that don’t have any effect beyond them.
We can spend so much time and effort on getting our church services right that we fail to see that our discipleship has to extend beyond those gatherings.
Worship is not just what we do when we gather together as a church, it is also integral with how we conduct ourselves when we scatter.
Making a joyful noise to God on Sunday is not much use if we neglect Him on Monday.#
Today's Soul Snippet:
'Ritual acts are the undoing of authentic religion.' ~ Brennan Manning
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