“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?