Hard things ...

Sometimes, people say hard things.

Usually, they are things I need to hear.

But I'd prefer they say soft things, kind things, comfortable things ...

Don't you agree?

Same with God - sometimes God has to say hard things.

This is what I read in the Bible yesterday, and it left me speechless:

"Quit your worship charades.

I can't stand your trivial religious games:

Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings --

meetings, meetings, meetings -- I can't stand one more!

Meetings for this, meetings for that.

I hate them! I'm sick of your religion, religion, religion, while you go right on sinning!

When you put on your next prayer-performance, I'll be looking the other way.

No matter how long or loud or often you pray, I'll not be listening.

And do you know why?

Because you've been tearing people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.

Go home and wash up.

Clean up your act.

Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings so I don't have to look at them any longer.

Say no to wrong.

Learn to do good.

Work for justice.

Help the down-and-out.

Stand up for the homeless.

Go to bat for the defenseless."

(Isaiah 1:13-17, The Message paraphrase of the Bible)

Sometimes, God says hard things.

And when God does ... it is best we listen.

It is best I listen.

Tags: Worship, Called to Community, Living Truthfully, God's Mission, Developing a Rule of Life, Mission of the Church, The Marginalized