Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Isaiah 29:13-16 (NRSV)
The Lord said:
Because these people draw near with their mouths
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;
so I will again do
amazing things with this people,
shocking and amazing.
The wisdom of their wise shall perish,
and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.
Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the LORD,
whose deeds are in the dark,
and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?”
You turn things upside down!
Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?
Shall the thing made say of its maker,
“He did not make me”;
or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,
“He has no understanding”?
This passage is a warning to the people of Israel who are going through the motions of following God. Their hearts are not in their worship. They have not taken the commandment of God to heart.
In following the way of Christ, we need to be aware that God’s way is the Way. We are called to a way of life. We cannot truly be Christians unless we fully identify with Christ. This may mean that we have to be disciplined in our lives. Being disciplined does not mean that we give up having fun or must follow a set of “dos and do nots.” What it does mean is that we have a new way of seeing others through the lens of love.
When this passage was written, there were a lot of laws to keep, but Christ gave us only one: “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12). How do we keep this commandment? We show our love for God and others in the way we treat others. Do we treat all people with respect? I have seen “Christians” act unlovingly to store clerks and wait staff. Are we patient with others? It is someone else’s fault if we are having a bad day? Having a bad day is no excuse for being rude.
I have found that the more loving I am toward others, the more I have peace of mind—my faith renewed in Jesus Christ.
Dear God, I know that sometimes I go through the motions of being a Christian. Please forgive me when I fail to worship you. Please help me to lead a more disciplined life in Christ. Help me to look upon others as your children. Thank you for your grace, even when I fail to live up to the way of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Go with God.