Old Testament Lesson
We see the Lord condemn what is called the "false fasting" of the people. It is interesting to note that while the Lord demands action, what He truly desires is actions with a right heart. Thus the saying, the Lord loves a thankful giver. It is not just enough to give, we want to give with the right reason and right intent. Sometimes, giving with the wrong heart can actually turn someone against giving and cause them to not to want to give in the future.
That's what has happened here. The people have fasted, but not with the right heart. The Lord wants them not fast, but to fast for the right reason. Today, may the actions we take be taken with the right reasons and with the right heart.
New Testament Lesson
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
We could spend a million years talking about this great passage of scripture, but I'll simply piggy back what we talked about in the first reading. Paul tell us that if he surrendered his body to flames, but does not have love, he had done nothing. It is not just enough to do. We must be. It is not just enough to be busy for the Lord. We must be still and listen. We must allow His love to sweep over us and then let that love be our motivating force for action.
That's hard sometimes. I'd rather be busy than listen. But, sometimes, we have to slow down. We have to stop. And, we have to allow God's love to saturate us so that we can be the people that we need to be, to do the things we need to do.
Today, we see the Lord tell his disciples to sit and wait for the people to come to them. Not, that's not what we read. We read Him tell the disciples to go! Go everywhere preaching the good news! Go all over. Don't wait for them to come to you, you go to them! You have great news of hope and love and salvation! Go and tell it on the mountain!
Today, may we go. May we take this Good News we have and live it out loud. Let us not wait! Let us go!