Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Zechariah: Was it for me that you did all those religious things?

Zechariah 7:4-9

I grew up going to church.  Every Sunday morning.
When I started attending Montview Evangelical Free Church, we added Sunday night church and Wednesday night church.  Every week.

I got baptized.  I joined Pioneer Girls and then the youth group.  I competed on the Bible quiz team.  I took communion.  I memorized scripture.  I sang in the choir.  I led children's church.

And so on and so on.
After I moved to San Diego, I actually ramped up my service.

And none of that matters.  At least not on an eternal level.
What matters is what's going on in my heart.

In this passage, God tells Zechariah to ask the people, "When you fasted and mourned . . . was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, weren't you just feasting to have a good time?"

We can do a lot of religious things in the name of God, but God's looking for something else.

And it's not just about loving him passionately and raising our hands sincerely.  He wants us to "administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another."  He wants us to "not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor."

I think here it's good to think about who are the widows and the fatherless in our communities.  Who are the aliens and the poor?  How are we doing on that front?

I think I'm not doing so well.  Basically, I don't think I'm doing anything.

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