Read Isaiah 1:1, 10-20.
Speaking through the prophet, God expresses disappointment with the people of Judah. Their acts of sacrifice and worship practices are meaningless to God when the people continue to live in ways that are contrary to God’s. God reminds the faithful that prayer and praise is not about changing God’s heart, but about changing ours. It’s about turning away from sin however it manifests in our lives and turning towards God. When we are caught up in sin, it’s impossible to live in the wholeness and healing that God graciously offers. “Cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow,” says God. In doing this, we find ourselves at one with God, with each other, and with the world that God so loves.
Have there been times when you have worshiped God half-heartedly or apathetically? What sins remain in your life even as you profess your faith? What practices might be helpful in turning from those sins and turning towards God?
In prayer, offer a confession for your sin and commit yourself to walking in God’s ways of justice and care for “the least of these.”