We have spent the summer learning about our corporate worship: what we do every Sunday when we gather together from Call to Worship to Benediction. As we prepare to end this series and move into the Fall, it’s imperative that we hear the warnings of Scripture to not let our worship devolve into empty traditions and religious habits. God speaks angrily to his people again and again when they have all the right pieces in place during corporate worship, but fail to let that worship spill out into the rest of their lives. We’ll look at some of these warnings through the words of Isaiah and Jesus himself, and ask how we can stay faithful not only in our gathered worship but also our scattered worship in the world.
Our weekly Worship Guide can be downloaded by clicking the image below.
For more on this Summer Series, click HERE.
10 Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah!
11 “The multitude of your sacrifices—what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.
12 When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? 13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. 14 Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood!
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.
18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
1 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
3 Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’a and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 5 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is ‘devoted to God,’ 6 they are not to ‘honor their father or mother’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
8“ ‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’”