Rituals don’t matter without the heart

It is Advent and I like to follow this reading guide for reading in this time of year. 

The reading from Isaiah 1:10-20 today calls out the importance of the heart. We can go through the motions of our worship, but it is the heart that matters. The heart set right before God has certain actions. Outward indicators. And it isn’t getting “worship” right.

16 Wash and make yourselves clean.
    Take your evil deeds out of my sight;
    stop doing wrong.
17 Learn to do right; seek justice.
    Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
    plead the case of the widow.

The heart set right looks out for the margins of our world. God’s heart is always toward the margins. The people of God are always called to the margins. It’s not a Christmas thing. It’s a Kingdom thing.

(Justice isn’t our narrow American idea of “law and order,” by the way. This word and concept are well worth your time to do a study throughout Scripture.)

Justice is always a good idea. Justice that brings in the margins.

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