Sunday, November 27, 2005

Though you pray the more, I will not listen

From the Office of Readings, First Sunday of Advent; the prophet Isaiah:
Hear the word of the LORD, princes of Sodom! Listen to the instruction of our God, people of Gomorrah!
What care I for the number of your sacrifices? says the LORD. I have had enough of whole-burnt rams and fat of fatlings; In the blood of calves, lambs and goats I find no pleasure.
When you come in to visit me, who asks these things of you?
Trample my courts no more! Bring no more worthless offerings; your incense is loathsome to me. New moon and sabbath, calling of assemblies, octaves with wickedness: these I cannot bear.
Your new moons and festivals I detest; they weigh me down, I tire of the load.
When you spread out your hands, I close my eyes to you; Though you pray the more, I will not listen.

Your hands are full of blood!
Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil;
learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow.

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