Malachi 1: 8
8 When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.
In our scripture reading God is calling his chosen people out on not sacrificing their best but finding the lame animals as well as the animals they wouldn’t want any ways and using that as a sacrifice. God calls them out on their disrespectful gesture-a gesture given out of a deceit rather than honoring God. In short, they are taking shortcuts.
What should have been a true worship experience became a broken experience filled with dishonor.
Christians today and all across the globe can quickly find themselves in similar situations.
In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells us “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” All ends of the Earth including those places we despise or with those we disagree?
Instead of heeding those words many Christians across the globe hide out in church buildings on Sunday morning celebrating the rare few we call missionaries who heed his sacred call. We pray for those who will not settle for just a Sunday morning worship-they choose to take God to those in all corners of the world.
On Sunday mornings, while many are hiding out in the church and keeping others out, we like our faith ancestors in Malachi, find shortcuts to our faith so as not to have to be uncomfortable or burdened.
Maybe we hold back giving as faithfully as we could.
Maybe we hold back sharing our talents with the church in music or reading of scripture or teaching our children.
Maybe we ignore God altogether in our call to a life of servant ministry.
I have learned long ago that shortcuts often mean long cuts. We might think we are saving time, money, or energy and yet we often find the cost is simply hiding on the back end.
There are no shortcuts in life and faith. While some days it might be easy; other days faith requires work and discomfort. Jesus never promised it would easy or comfortable or simple.
Remember John 14:6 tells us Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” One way. One path. No cutoffs through the pass. No shortcut shaving time and energy.
Our question today is simple: Not if, but where have we created shortcuts in our faithfulness to God here at La Junta UMC? Where are we merely finding the lamest calves for sacrifice that no one would ever want; to give to God, and where are we seeking out and sacrificing our best?
May it be so,
Rev. Lou Ward
Summer Bible Studies:
Sunday - 4:00 PM
Monday - 1:00 PM
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
Facebook: La Junta United Methodist Church
Instagram: La Junta UMC
YouTube: La Junta UMC
Or use our contact form.
Spread the word and raise awareness about what we do. The best way to do it is through social networking!