Friday, August 6, 2010

I Hate Meetings! The Reading for August 8, 2010; Isaiah 1:10-20

"Listen to my Message, you Sodom-schooled leaders. Receive God's revelation, you Gomorrah-schooled people.”
"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, whoever 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.”

"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 1:10-20 (The Message)

1. What was the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah that God would paint us all with their brush?
2. Do we play the martyr and make our busy-ness a sacrifice? If so, is it to God or to an idol?
3. Do we talk differently than we act? Do we even get beyond talking to the say, learn and do part?
4. This makes me think of author Anne Rice who recently announced on Facebook that she was giving up Christianity for Christ. What was God saying about religion in Isaiah’s time? Does it hold true still?
5. What is the relationship between personal and social holiness? Have we separated or prioritized the two?

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