Heartless Worship

“I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” – Amos 5:21-24

To be honest, before now I haven’t spent a whole lot of time in the book of Amos. When I asked my pastor for his commentary on the book, he gave me a really odd look and just kind of laughed before pointing to the book on the shelf.

But, that scripture has been heavy on my heart since someone shared it with me last Thursday. I’ve read it over and over. Read commentaries on it, cross referenced it, all sorts of stuff. Spending my days planning “religious feasts” this scripture struck a cord with me and I can’t help but wonder if what I’m doing is beneficial or if God sits up in heaven laughing because it’s so absurd.

Then I stop myself.

It’s not worship that God “cannot stand.” It’s worship without heart, faith without action.

And I start to think I’m okay.

Then I stop myself again, wake myself up, and remind myself to be on guard against such worship and faith everyday, because I’ve been guilty of it, and am just as capable of it as the next person.

How can we prevent worship that God “cannot stand” from becoming the norm in our churches?

With courage, Katie

5 comments

  1. Yeah. It's on "Limbs and Branches". I highly recommend it. Here are the lyrics: (it goes perfect with this post)

    I hate all your show and pretense

    The hypocrisy of your praise

    The hypocrisy of your festivals

    I hate all your show

    Away with your noisy worship

    Away with your noisy hymns

    I stomp on my ears when you’re singing ‘em

    I hate all your show

    Instead let there be a flood of justice

    An endless procession of righteous living, living

    Instead let there be a flood of justice

    Instead of a show

    Your eyes are closed when you’re praying

    You sing right along with the band

    You shine up your shoes for services

    There’s blood on your hands

    You turned your back on the homeless

    And the ones that don’t fit in your plan

    Quit playing religion games

    There’s blood on your hands

    Instead let there be a flood of justice

    An endless procession of righteous living, living

    Instead let there be a flood of justice

    Instead of a show

    I hate all your show

    Let’s argue this out

    If your sins are blood red

    Let’s argue this out

    You’ll be one of the clouds

    Let’s argue this out

    Quit fooling around

    Give love to the ones who can’t love at all

    Give hope to the ones who got no hope at all

    Stand up for the ones who can’t stand at all, all

    I hate all your show

    I hate all your show

    I hate all your show

    I hate all your show

    Instead let there be a flood of justice

    An endless procession of righteous living, living

    Instead let there be a flood of justice

    Instead of a show

    I hate all your show

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