Reading in the book of Amos this morning; the truth in chapter 5, verses 21-24 really caught my attention. Here’s the passage:
21 “I hate all your show and pretense—
the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.
22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings.
I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.
23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise!
I will not listen to the music of your harps.
24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice,
an endless river of righteous living.
Amos was speaking as a prophet to God’s people and what they had been doing, but there are principles for us to apply – an error to avoid / an example to follow. It doesn’t matter how great our services are when we gather as God’s people; whether they are festive and loud or quiet and solemn. It doesn’t matter what kinds of offerings we make or how noisy our hymns of praise might be. What God wants is true worship, not pretense – and true worship leads to a flood of justice and an endless river of righteous living. So here’s the question of the day: “Does your worship change or impact the way you live?” Are you more just? Do you live a more righteous life? Or – like the people of Israel, do you just go through the motions?
Part of this phrase is borrowed, but I believe “Real worship takes place when we focus our mind’s attention and heart’s affection on God in such a way that our life’s attitudes & actions line up with the truth of God.”