Psalms: 107:33-43, 108
Old Testament: Isaiah 66:1-6
New Testament: 1 Tim 6:6-21

I actually got up earlier to do Morning Prayer but didn’t really have time to sit down and write on anything until now 😛

Whoever slaughters an ox is like one who kills a human being;
whoever sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck;
whoever presents a grain-offering, like one who offers swine’s blood;*
whoever makes a memorial offering of frankincense, like one who blesses an idol.
These have chosen their own ways,
and in their abominations they take delight (Isaiah 66:3)

After nearly 5 months of reading Isaiah, we are finally reaching its conclusion. Here…God is speaking to people who think they have it right. Who genuinely believed that by offering sacrifice, and giving tithes to the Temple they were living faithfully to the Abrahamic Covenant.

Today’s reading challenges that assumption and that comfort. I sit here wondering whether what we offer is rooted in assuring our own salvation….or whether they come from a dep desire to thank God???

I suspect that–if we are honest with oursevles–the answer is probably a little from column A and a little from column B. Personally, I don’t think we ever start with trying to manipulate God…or to gain favours from him. Human beings may be shallow, but they aren’t that shallow.

Human beings are made to worship their Creator….it’s something we do naturally….some would say it’s even what we are made to do.

Since the Fall however, our worship has the potential to be twisted to meet our own needs. Our sinfulness can mislead us that worship is something which is made to make us feel warm and fuzzy……to feel safe.

While the Father never wants us to be afraid, the worship of the Church is meant to challenge us, to make us feel distinctly uncomfortable. As the bread of the Word is read, heard and broken open, and the homily is preached we are called to hear with the ears of our heart. We are then invited to a feast and Sacred meal to be sustained in body mind and spirit.

I pray that we–as a faith community–keep a close eye to those times when our worship is reshaped to meet our own needs and to put butts in the pews, rather than giving glory to the Holy One of Israel. +