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asacrificeToday’s lectionary includes verses from Psalm 50 in which the psalmist expresses God’s desire for us to “step up” in our response to life, suggesting that our sacrificial offerings (bulls and goats – or for us checks and cash) are not enough. God says, “Why do you recite my statutes and profess my covenant with your mouth though you hate discipline and cast my words behind you?”

We could take offense at this and use more words to defend our actions or inactions. If I am honest and look in the mirror, I must admit to that kind of behavior at least some of the time. But then I hear verse 14 wherein God seems in need of relationship with us. “No! But this is what I want from you. Offer me grateful heart. Fulfill the vows that you have made.” It’s as if God is asking from us what each of us wants from others: the willingness to say what we mean and mean what we say – and then to live into what that means.

How can I refuse?