Wednesday 21 February 2018

Bible Book:

"Lift up your voice like a trumpet.” (v. 1)

Isaiah 58:1-12 Wednesday 21 February 2018

Psalm: Psalm 34:11-22


Worship is an important part of our life as God’s people. Whether it is singing the great hymns of Wesley; feeling uplifted by a more contemporary worship band; reading the profound words of an ancient prayer or listening to a great preacher, coming together for worship can be a key element in our Christian journey.

But the prophet Isaiah has a challenging message for a people who were committed to their regular routine of worship. For them, it was expressed through fasting; something that is echoed in the idea of “doing without” during the Christian season of Lent. But the people were left confused, asking the prophet “If we are following all the instructions and observing our regular fasts, why isn’t God blessing us?”

The prophet’s response is pretty emphatic. God is not so much interested in their religious rituals as the lives that they live when they are not observing them. The language does not really need much explaining –“loose the bonds of injustice … share your bread with the hungry … bring the homeless poor into your house” (vv. 6-7). You might notice similar thoughts echoed in the second part of Psalm 34.

We can cite many examples of how God’s people are doing things like this in today’s world either through directly caring for those who suffer injustice or campaigning against what we perceive as the cause. But Isaiah reminds us that these are not optional extras or only the concern of those who happen to care about such things. God does not separate our life of worship and devotion from our commitment to seek justice in our contemporary world. How are we translating the words of prophets like Isaiah and God’s frequent calls for justice into our lives and actions today?

To Ponder

  • How does worship break out into your everyday life?
  • Look at the Joint Public Issues Team website, which gives practical ideas and examples about seeking justice. What catches your interest?
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