I realized this morning that I have never read through the book of Isaiah - only a few verses here and there. What a lashing Isaiah gives the Israelites! But, as I read, a few verses stuck out to me:
"Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations -
I cannot bear your evil assemblies...
They have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
...wash and make yourself clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight!
Sopt doing wrong, learn to do right!
Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.
'Come now, let us reason together,'
says the Lord.
'Though your sins be as scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land;
but if you resist and rebel,
you will be devoured by the sword.'
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
Isaiah 1: 13-14,16-20
I have been reminded that it is not the "motions" of Christianity or religion that turn God towards us - it is the constant real heart attitude we show in our lives. "Learn to do right...seek justice, encourage the oppressed." This should be our constant motivation in all we do!