July 5

Amos 5:14-15, 21-24

Holidays and parties

Amos the prophet said to the people of Israel, “God will be your helper if you hate evil and love what is good.”

Amos also told them, “This is what the Lord says; ‘I hate your religious feasts. When you bring Me your sacrifices and offerings, I will not accept them. I cannot stand the noise of your songs and the sound of your harps. What I want from you is a flood of justice and streams of goodness.’ "

What does God think about our religious celebrations?

Why would God tell the Israelites that He hated their religious celebrations when He had told them to have these feasts?

God does not tell us to do things without a reason. The reason for the celebrations was to get everyone to take a break from their busy lives and think about their faith. One of the feasts was to give thanks by bringing the first part of their harvest. Another was to sacrifice an animal for the forgiveness of their sins. Then there was a feast to remind them of how God had brought them out of Egypt.

But instead of remembering how good God had been to them, they used the celebration as an excuse to have a big party. And so, a festival that was meant to make people think about God and rejoice in His goodness turned into a noisy party where everyone forgot about real reason for the celebration.

Paul says that each person should decide which days have a special meaning, and which are just ordinary days. It is up to you to decide which occasions are important to you. If they are meant to remind you about the Lord, let them be meaningful by making the Lord welcome at the celebrations—and in your heart!

Verse for today

One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. Romans 14:5