So, I have been taking Study in Brown’s advice and reading and praying through Isaiah 58. I have to say, it is pretty convicting. Today, it was even more convicting as I read the passage from the Message.
Isaiah 58:2 from the Message reads, “They are busy, busy, busy at worship, and love studying all about me.”
The passage goes on to say in verse 6, “This is what I’m after: to break the chains of injustice, get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts…sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families…get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins…”
Ouch. What this says to me, personally, is to quit all this “playing church.” Church, in many ways, has become a god in and of itself. We are “busy, busy, busy” making church happen, getting church right, getting the lighting right, making sure we look professional ~ we are on television afterall! Gotta sound professional, pick the right songs, get the best singers. We make sure we look our best, making sure everything is just right. Busy, busy, busy.
But, is that what God is after? What it sounds like He is wanting is for us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the hurting and suffering world around us. The hungry. The homeless. Our very own families. Could it be that we are sitting around inside the church building, busy.busy.busy. *making* church, getting all studied up…and missing the point all together?!? Lord, help us!
I’m going to continue reading through Isaiah 58. As I’m reading, I’m praying. Lord, have mercy on me…forgive me for being so busy doing church that I am forgetting to BE the church. Help me to remember what is really important. People are more important than programs. Compassion. Show me Your ways. Search my heart, show me my sin. Change me.