I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt-offerings and grain-offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps.
Reflection by Janet Derby
Traditions are valuable. They remind us of those who have gone before us and help us to pass the knowledge and customs of our predecessors on to our children and grandchildren. Yet, that only occurs when we understand and relate the stories and purpose behind those traditions. When rituals become empty and are done only because it is the way we have always done things, they no longer serve a valuable function. As we go through this new year, think about the routine practices and consider whether they do what they are intended. Do they help to spread God’s love or teach an important lesson? If not, can they be altered to do so?
God of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,
Help me to be awake to all I do and not sleep-walk through life. Amen.