The Bad News about Worship . . .

Read: Amos 5:18-24

Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! . . . But let justice roll down like waters. (vv. 18, 24)

Today’s Scripture is hard to hear, but the message is clear: God is with us on Sunday morning, but God is also with us the rest of the week, and his presence brings judgment. It’s so tempting to try to cut the cords that connect our private time with God on Sunday mornings with our time in public the rest of the week. But you can’t insulate worship from the rest of life, or separate private piety from public action.

For the prophet Amos, worship is linked to the way we treat other people. Don’t split your life in half! God wants wholeness for us. Start small, start local: how are you living unjustly toward the people with whom you will interact in the next 48 hours? Then, use your imagination.

A friend of mine has started a curious spiritual practice. Every day, as he puts on his undershirt or powers up his computer, he prays for the people who made them, saying, “God, I pray for the people who made these things. If they are working in unjust conditions, please set them free. Forgive me if I have hurt anyone by buying these things, and help me to seek the good of my neighbor in everything that I purchase.” Can we find ways to let justice flow from our worship to our neighbors?

As you pray, ask God to give you the courage to connect your worship of him with your love for your neighbor.

About the Author

Steven Rodriguez lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife and four children.

This entry is part 10 of 15 in the series Worship: From Silence to Song