Monday, July 2, 2018

Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/070218.cfm

sacrifice of praise

Today, in Mercy,  our readings are harsh. We don’t want to think about our sinfulness, do we? We’re doing the best we can. Right?

Well, maybe not. 

Our Old Testament brethren thought they were doing fine, too. But today’s reading from Amos lashes out at the societal sins of Israel: slavery, prostitution, systemic oppression of the poor, obstinate immorality, and idolatry. Beloved Israel – the nation that God had delivered from Egypt – had lost its way! 

The prophet Amos demands that the people look in a mirror to see what they have become. He tells them that they are not doing OK, that they are a selfish mess, that they face the crushing wrath of God!

Today’s psalm reinforces the dire warning:

~  You use religion to justify your misdeeds
~  You deal with thieves and adulterers
~  You lie and provoke violence by your words
~  You slander and spread rumors in order to keep power over others
Remember this, you who never think of God!

Sounds kind of familiar, maybe? Describes our 21st century reality too, doesn’t it? 

Many of us read these passages and think, “Thank God I’m not doing any of this terrible stuff!” But that’s not enough. What we must ask ourselves is how we passively contribute to any of these societal sins by a myopic faith, plastic morality, prejudiced politics, and unexamined cultural choices. 

Do we approve, or at least stay silent, when religion is used to ostracize people? When political power crushes the rights of those we disagree with? When our entertainment relies on violence and dehumanization of people? 

It is painful and difficult to do this deep examination of conscience. We might all find ourselves complicit, in some way, with the evils we hate and fear. 

Let the closing words of today’s psalm encourage us:

“Consider this, you who forget God,
lest I rend you and there be no one to rescue you.
The one who offers a sacrifice of praise glorifies me;
and to the one that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”

Music: Sacrifice of Praise ~ Alvin Slaughter

Lord I lift a song of worship
For Your glory and Your grace
Let my heart reveal all my words fail to say
Lord receive this sacrifice of praise

On the mountain in the valley
As I wait in my secret place
I will trust trust in the name of the Lord
Now receive this sacrifice of praise
Now receive this sacrifice of praise

You’re my shield. You’re my shelter
From the storm and from the rain
Cover me beneath the shadow of Your wings
Lord receive this sacrifice of praise

Hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah to Your name

For all You’ve done
You are and evermore will be
Lord receive this sacrifice of praise
Lord receive this sacrifice of praise
Lord receive this sacrifice of praise

One thought on “A Sacrifice of Praise

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