Old Testament Lesson
We see here in this passage the Lord is mad because the people are going to church. That's a little odd. He says He is tried of their festivals of their offerings of all the things that they do that are the form of religion. That is not what He wants. He wants a broken and humble heart.
Believe me, I'm a preacher, church is a good thing. I hope everyone that reads this will be in church this coming Sunday. We each need desperately what church can provide. But, the point of faith is not just to go to church, it is to become more Christ like. Church is not the end of our faith, it is just the beginning. Church helps to shape us so that we can go into the world and be salt and light.
The Lord wants our hearts. He wants our love. He wants all that we are. The people in this text went to the temple, but didn't give Him their hearts. May we go to Church, but may He also have our hearts.
New Testament Lesson
In each of the seven churches of Revelation, we see the Lord critique what is happening. In Ephesus, we see Him tell the people that they had lost to their first love. Lotsof things compete for our attention in life; lots of things pull at our time, at our wallet, at our schedule, at our souls. May we never let all the things that pull at us take us from our first love.
We see one of the greatest criticisms Jesus had of the religious leaders was their pride. Jesus over and over again told His people to be humble. To serve. To not boast. To be lowest. For if we humble ourselves, it will be God that will lift us up. But, if we walk around proud, as the word tell us, it is the pride that goes before the fall.
May we remember that our Lord came to serve and not to be served. And, may we do the same.